Monday, October 25, 2021

BIKETOWN makes all financial aid college students in the Portland area eligible for free rides

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In an expansion of BIKETOWN for All, Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) announced that it is increasing the program’s eligibility to include Portland-area students. Yesterday’s BIKETOWN announcement made this a far more likely scenario for Portland college students this fall.

The actual wording of the new eligibility criteria on the e-bike sharing service’s website is: “Students receiving Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) – Portland Campuses Only.”

BIKETOWN for All provides 60 minutes of free ride time per month and no set monthly fees to Portlanders in a variety of economically vulnerable situations—like those receiving SNAP assistance or unemployment.

Therefore, the benefit isn’t just for Portland State students. It’s for any student receiving federal financial aid to attend classes on a Portland campus.

The service is going one better for PSU however; even PSU students who don’t qualify for the special membership rate will be eligible to receive $20 worth of free ride time per month.

“As students are returning to classrooms this fall, this is the perfect time for them to experience the excitement of riding BIKETOWN’s e-bikes,” said Transportation Director Chris Warner, in a press release PBOT issued about the change.

Those juicy, free monthly minutes (which reset every month) are available now. But the process calls for a little e-paperwork. “College students will upload a digital copy of their FAFSA award letter. PSU students should sign up at the PSU BIKETOWN website,” the release explains.

The city commissioner who oversees PBOT, Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty, reflected this environmental driver in her statements. “With extreme weather and climate change challenging our community, we need to do everything we can to make sure everyone has easy access to riding a bike,” she said.

The release also notes that the expansion of BIKETOWN for All was made possible by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality’s Oregon Clean Fuels Program via the PGE Drive Change Fund.

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