Portland Ranked #13 on North American Shared Mobility City Index

Portland transit ranks #13 on North American SMCI

Portland is Oregon’s largest city, and sits on the Columbia and Willamette rivers, in the shadow of the snow-capped Mount Hood. Known for its parks, bridges and bicycle paths, as well as for its eco-friendliness, microbreweries and coffeehouses, Portland’s eclectic vibe is known far and wide. 

Of the three most populated cities in the Pacific Northwest region (Seattle, Vancouver and Portland, respectively), Portland has the warmest average temperature, the highest number of sunshine hours, and the fewest inches of annual rainfall and snowfall.

Portland is an international pioneer in transit oriented developments, due to Metro’s regional master plan. This approach promotes mixed-use and high-density development around light rail stops and transit centers, and the investment of the metropolitan area’s share of federal tax dollars into multiple modes of transportation. In the United States, this focus is atypical in an era when automobile use led many areas to neglect their core cities in favor of development along interstate highways, in suburbs, and satellite cities.

Oregon state is also notable because the Portland-Vancouver-Beaverton OR-WA Metro Area is the only metro area with a population of over 1 million with a bicycle-commuting rate of at least 2 percent.

In July 2016, Portland’s first bikeshare provider was launched, and the famously bicycle-friendly city says its “smart-bike” program, Biketown, was worth the wait. Portland learned many lessons from other bikeshare operators, and users have not only the option to return bikes at any of Portland’s 4,000 bike racks within the service area, each bike has its own GPS tracking system and a U-Lock that serves as the checkout point for riders via a pre-paid card or mobile app.

Biketown is also the first deployment of smart-bikes for Motivate, which now runs a dozen bike-share programs in the United States, Canada, and Australia.


Portland ranks 2 out of 10 points on Density.

Although Portland has a low density, it keeps a reputation as a well-planned, transit-oriented city.

Mobility Patterns

While still over 60% use their car for commuting, almost 12% use public transit and about 6% use their bike and walk. Portland scores 8 out of 10 points for Mobility Patterns on the SMCI.


Portland’s Sustainability Plan reflects their desire to reduce traffic and congestion. They do not specifically address Shared Mobility, but provide special parking permits for station-based and free-floating carshare. Portland scores 7 out of 10 points on Sustainability.

Shared Mobility Services

Currently car2go and Zipcar are present as carshare provider in Portland in addition to a couple of peer-to-peer carshare services. There is neither a local carshare provider nor a bikeshare provider in Portland, which results in its low score on Shared Mobility Services. However, a bikeshare is planned for 2016.

Updates in 2016:

Sponsored by Nike, and in partnership with the Portland Bureau of Transportation, BIKETOWN, Portland’s first bikeshare provider launched July 19th, 2016.

BMW launched its carshare service ReachNow September 6, 2016.

Parking Cost

Portland’s parking cost downtown are pretty low with averaging on 4.2% of its annual household income.

Find out more about the SMCI.

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