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Electric bicycle (e-bike) use is a rising phenomenon in North America. In 2018, John MacArthur of Portland State University conducted a national survey to understand issues facing e-bike owners. Reducing physical exertion, conquering challenging topography and replacing car trips are a few of the most important reasons for buying an e-bike. The electric assist of the e-bike helps to generate more trips, longer trips and different types of bicycle trips. Through analysis it also became evident that e-bikes are making it possible for more people to ride a bicycle, many of whom are incapable of riding a standard bicycle or don’t feel safe doing so.

In 2017, Forth launched the Community Electric Bike Project, which was designed to test the benefits of e-bikes for individuals who live in underserved communities and lack access to frequent transit services in Portland, Oregon. In partnership with the Community Cycling Center and GenZe, the project aimed to serve individuals who sought another mode of transportation. Forth hoped that this project would bring more light mobility transportation options into underserved neighborhoods. Sergio Lopez of Forth will share the full report of what the project achieved within the Portland community.


John MacArthur is the Principal Investigator for TREC's electric bicycle research initiatives. His research also includes low-/no-emission vehicle infrastructure in Portland metro, as well as a climate change impact assessment for surface transportation in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska. Before joining the TREC staff, John was the Context Sensitive and Sustainable Solutions Program Manager for the Oregon Department of Transportation’s OTIA III State Bridge Delivery Program.

Sergio Lopez manages the Go Forth Electric Showcase and leads the delivery of pilot projects that advance sustainable transportation. Previously, he has served as a local brand ambassador for BIKETOWN and an assistant researcher at Portland State University developing green spaces. He holds a B.S in Cultural Anthropology.


Electric bicycles -- Surveys, Community Electric Bike Project, Transportation -- Planning -- Oregon -- Portland, Travel behavior


Transportation | Urban Studies

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Webinar: E-Bikes for Everyone: Electrifying Communities in New Ways