Bike Share Coming to Portland -- When Alta Finds a Sponsor

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(photo by gregraisman via flickr)

(Rob Manning -- Portland, OR, OPB) Portland's city council approved bike share -- but funding it is largely the responsibility of hometown operator Alta.

The one-year projected cost to set up and run the 750-bike, 75 station bike share program is $6.5 million dollars. Of that, $1.8 million is federal money awarded through the city.

Filling that gap – and finding sponsorship revenue into the future – is up to the contractor, Alta Bicycle Share.

The company’s head, Mia Birk, says that’s like the contract her company has with New York City, but it’s different from agreements with other cities.

Birk says she is excited to start bike-sharing in her hometown of Portland. "But it is a big responsibility on us, and that’s going to be a challenge. Portland is not the same as New York City, does not have the deep-pocket companies and the media value that New York has with the density of population and activities. So I see it as a challenge – I like challenges, I’m excited about it – but I’m also cautious."

To read the whole story, head over to OPB.