Bike-share program prepares for Portland launch

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Portland is poised to start a long-hoped-for bike-share program in July.

Through the collaboration between the city and Tandem Mobility, a Michigan-based company with two dozen locations around the country, users will be able to use a smartphone app to rent bikes at 30-40 stations throughout the city.

Tandem Mobility map
U.S. locations where Tandem Mobility operates bike-share programs. (Courtesy Tandem)

Founder and CEO Keli Hoyt-Rupert said Tandem Mobility is excited to see the program come to Portland. “There are multiple goals that Tandem and the city have collectively, which is why I think we ended up as partners,” she said.

The shareable bike program is seen as an alternate form of transportation that can help reduce traffic congestion and promote the city’s sustainability goals.

The program, which promises to put 200 bicycles on Portland streets, comes at no cost to the city after at least five years on the drawing board. It is funded entirely by revenue from bike rentals and its co-founding sponsors: the Maine Department of Transportation and Point32Health, the Canton, Massachusetts-based parent company of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and Tufts Health Plan.

Riders will pay a fee to unlock bicycles plus a per-minute charge for use, Hoyt-Rupert said, although pricing has not been finalized. There will also be membership options to earn free trips.

Tandem Mobility also recruits local businesses for station sponsorships, which allow businesses to brand bike locations. Businesses already partnered with the program include Allagash Brewing, Dayton Group, and Waypoint Brokers Collective.

More details on the program will be released in early July, including promotion of a launch event.


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