Residents at two affordable housing developments have a new way to travel thanks to a pilot program that placed multiple electric bikes for borrowing at each.
Greenburg Oaks, north of downtown, and Red Rock Creek Commons in the Tigard Triangle each received three e-bikes with helmets and cargo racks to stock bike libraries for a one-year program that gives residents free access to vehicles.
Power to the Pedal E-bike library, funded by a $105,800 grant from the PGE Drive Change Fund, managed by Community Partners for Affordable Housing, and operated by the Westside Transportation Alliance, kicked off in August at both locations.
WTA will operate the program for one year, collecting data on ridership and surveying riders on their experiences to evaluate the possibility of future expansion.
“We intend to learn things like where people take the bikes, how long they check out the bikes, and if there’s any barriers or limitations that the users are experiencing,” Alec Perkins, assistant transportation planner, said at a July City Council meeting.
Riders can reserve and unlock the bikes with a mobile app, similar to those used on e-scooters like Lime. Built-in GPS tracks bike locations and trip data. Users are offered a helmet with registration and sign a community agreement to return the bikes on time and in good condition.
The bikes, which are compatible with multiple child seats, top out at about 20 MPH and have a range of 40-60 miles depending on how much electric assist riders use.
“I’m so excited about this project,” Councilor Jeannette Shaw said. “I think it’s great that helmets will be provided.”
The Drive Change Fund provides grants to cities, schools, agencies, and non-profits for purchasing electric vehicles, including bikes and EV chargers.
Tigard was one of 15 organizations awarded a Drive Change Fund grant in 2022, and the only one to use the money for e-bikes.
“The program aligns with the city’s transportation plan and strategic vision of being an equitable community that is walkable, healthy, and accessible for everyone,” Perkins said.
Bikes will be stored and charged in pre-existing bike parking at Red Rock Creek Commons. Portland-based Figure Plant designed a custom storage module for Greenburg Oaks large enough to hold and charge all three bikes but compact enough to fit into a single parking space.
“My favorite part of this storage module is the metal cutout artwork on the locker panels,” he said. “The design was chosen by the children of the afterschool center of Greenburg Oaks.”