Member Interview: Ride Report
This month, we spoke with founding BBPDX member and former Board member William Henderson about what it means to be an engaged tech entrepreneur. His business, Ride Report, focuses on “micromobility,” such as shared bikes and scooters. He sees the emergence of micromobility as one of the biggest opportunities we have to fight climate change, congestion and traffic violence. Ride Report provides city planners with the knowledge and tools they need to ensure these new forms of transportation are scalable, sustainable, and equitable.
WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO JOIN BUSINESS FOR A BETTER PORTLAND?
"When I founded Ride Report, I was very concerned that it be a force for good in the community. It’s not enough just to have a good mission, particularly for tech companies and particularly at a time of so much change. Cities don't want to see a repeat of Uber! My involvement with BBPDX was born of this desire to see my business work to better understand and support the needs of all Portlanders."
WHAT DO YOU SEE AS THE VALUE OF OUR WORK?
"The value of BBPDX is in growing the capacity of businesses to productively and empathetically engage with their community. Faced with a busy schedule and the ever pressing need of keeping the lights on, it can be frustrating to try to navigate the civic process. It can also be difficult to build a genuine understanding of the needs and perspectives of other community members. BBPDX provides the tools and space for businesses to strengthen their ability to serve their community. "
BBPDX WORKS ON A FEW FOCUS AREAS INCLUDING TRANSPORTATION, AFFORDABLE HOUSING, AND EQUITABLE ACCESS TO CAPITAL. WHICH ISSUE AREA MOST ATTRACTED YOU TO BBPDX AND WHY?
“Given the focus of our company, transportation was the focus of my initial involvement with BBPDX. However, I have really appreciated the opportunity BBPDX has given me to broaden this! These issues are all so urgent, and are interrelated in complex ways.”
WHAT IS YOUR VISION FOR HOW PORTLAND CAN BE “BETTER”?
"My vision for Portland is one where we finally learn to reconcile our progressive aspirations with our exclusionary past (and present). That means housing every single Portlander, even as we welcome new Portlanders. It means transitioning our transportation system away from carbon and cars, but making sure this transition is just. And it means making sure that Portland’s economy thrives, but that the opportunity is shared by all. "
— William Henderson, Chief Executive Officer at Ride Report
Follow his work @ridereport