Is dockless bikeshare coming to Portland?

A LimeBike representative speaks at the Urbanism Next Conference

Portland transportation officials are in discussion with a prominent dockless bikeshare company. 

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A Seattle-based dockless bikeshare company could be riding its way into Portland.

Two employees of the company, LimeBike, scootering around downtown Portland today, said they met with the Portland Bureau of Transportation this morning.

Earlier this week, Bike Portland reported the company is hiring a full-time Portland operations manager. 

A LimeBike spokeswoman declined to comment on the meeting, saying in an email only that “we’ve had collaborative discussions with local and community leaders, and hope to bring LimeBike to Portland in the future.”

PBOT did not respond to a request for comment. 

At the Urbanism Next Conference on March 6, Scheer told Oregon Business that PBOT politely declined his inquires about expanding into Portland — although Steve Hoyt-Mcbeth, a project manager in PBOT’s active transportation division, said there’s an opportunity for dockless bikeshare to share the streets with Biketown. 

If that happened, Portland’s bikeshare network could end up looking more like Seattle’s, in which several competing bikeshare companies, regulated by the city, place thousands of bikes around the city.  

Dockless systems, which allow users to park bikes anywhere within city limits, could expand bike access to low-income and hard to reach communities in Portland.

But the approach also has its perils; Bejing and Shanghai are cautionary tales, home to thousands of abandoned and vandalized dockless bikes. 

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