Subscribe

Explore Bike Share, My City Rides team up

By Updated: October 07, 2018 4:00 AM CT
<strong>Explore Bike Share technician Ellis Clemons uses a My City Rides scooter around the city to make repairs on Explore Bike Share bicycles.</strong> <strong>Besides the efficiency at work and the increased community interaction, riding the scooter is also fun. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s added to the fun side of life,&rdquo; said Clemons, 61. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s a sense of freedom for me when I ride. It&rsquo;s like having wings.&rdquo;</strong> (Houston Cofield/Daily Memphian)

Explore Bike Share technician Ellis Clemons uses a My City Rides scooter around the city to make repairs on Explore Bike Share bicycles. Besides the efficiency at work and the increased community interaction, riding the scooter is also fun. “It’s added to the fun side of life,” said Clemons, 61. “It’s a sense of freedom for me when I ride. It’s like having wings.” (Houston Cofield/Daily Memphian)

Explore Bike Share, the nonprofit bike-share program which gives Memphians and tourists access to bikes, rolled out its first bike in May. My City Rides, the nonprofit that leases scooters to Memphians who need transportation for work, rolled out its first scooter late this spring.

This summer, those local purveyors of two-wheeled transportation teamed up.

Explore Bike Share’s operations team all received scooter training from My City Rides and use My City Rides scooters for daily maintenance trips around the bike-share’s service area.

“We’re really excited to be partnering with Explore Bike Share,” said Andy Nix, president of My City Rides. “Transportation is hard. It’s a complicated thing for a lot of folks. The partnership demonstrates the importance of multi-modal for individuals and the community.”

Under the My City Rides model, individuals receive license preparation and safety training, since a motorcycle license is required to operate a MCR scooter. The gas-powered scooters are more similar to mopeds than the Bird scooters found at various locations across Memphis. Users also receive the license itself, the tag, helmet, scheduled maintenance and insurance for a cost of $3 a day, via payroll deduction, for three years. The financing is lease-to-own.

Nix acknowledged that the model is not a solution for everyone, but that it can be a good fit for some Memphians.

“We like to think of our program as extending people’s reach,” he said.

So far, 56 people are licensed on My City Rides scooters, with 25 people getting ready to take the license test in the next couple of weeks, Nix said.

Explore Bike Share operations director Rajah Brown said he was initially skeptical of using the scooters for EBS-system daily maintenance because of the “robustness” of the 600-bike, 60-station system.

“We’re spread as far as right across the bridge in West Memphis, Arkansas, all the way to the east as far as Cooper-Young, the (Memphis) Zoo, Overton Park, so I didn’t know how well it would work,” he said.

After getting the scooters and using them, Brown conceded that they are “absolutely awesome.”

Explore Bike Share is leasing three scooters for repairs. It also uses a box truck for repairs, and for the Downtown stations that are close enough to each other, bikes with small trailers attached. The box truck is still needed for in-depth maintenance, like bikes that need to be picked up and brought back to the warehouse for repair work, Brown said, but the scooters can be used for quicker, easier maneuvering across the city.

The scooters are used for basic bike maintenance and battery swaps at the stations.

Currently Explore Bike Share has one bike fleet manager and six bike techs.

One of those bike techs, Ellis Clemons, uses a My City Rides scooter while servicing the South Memphis area. Explore Bike Share provides his scooter for both his work and personal use.

In the past, Ellis would go to the EBS warehouse via his personal bike, look at an iPad, pull up the grid and determine which bikes or kiosks needed servicing, gather the tools and ride in a EBS van with his co-workers to get the stations to do the repairs.

With his scooter, he can use an iPad to see what needs repairing and go straight from his South Memphis home to one of the stations in the area, and then go to the warehouse. Another stop through the stations is made when he leaves the warehouse in the evening.

That, he said, has cut his time in half and made the scooter one of the most important tools the bike share program has.

“In the morning time, rather than leave from home and go to work, we leave home and we go to the stations,” Clemons said. “There we are able to meet and greet those people who are there in the morning and in the evening time.”

Besides the efficiency at work and the increased community interaction, riding the scooter is also fun.

“It’s added to the fun side of life,” the 61-year-old said. “It’s a sense of freedom for me when I ride. It’s like having wings.”



Topics

Elle Perry

Elle Perry

Elle Perry covers arts and culture and other news for the Daily Memphian. She is a native of Memphis and a two-time graduate of the University of Memphis. Elle previously worked for the Memphis Business Journal and has written for publications including The Memphis Flyer and High Ground News.


Comment On This Story

Email Editions

Sign up for our morning and afternoon editions, plus breaking news.