Explore Bike Share, a nonprofit bringing a 60-station, 600-bike bike share system to Memphis this spring, has revealed its station location map and official system brand and website.
Explore Bike Share’s 60 stations span from Downtown, South Memphis, and Cooper Young to Orange Mound, Overton Square, and Crosstown. Locations have been determined based on multiple criteria, including solar power accessibility, density, proximity to other transit options, neighborhood usage, and ongoing community engagement efforts. Ongoing neighborhood conversations, as well as a digital effort in late 2017 to capture pins on an interactive map of Memphis, resulted in over 3,500 “pins” submitted by citizens for potential station locations.
The system is the first and largest of its kind in the nation, as Explore Bike Share’s manufacturing partner BCycle was selected by a community board of advisors in Memphis to launch the largest Dash system yet, fueled by solar power with forward-facing touchscreens, whose technology can capture data related to miles ridden, calories burned, and popular routes. The new technology allows for malleability both physically and geographically.
Another first for the bike share industry is Explore Bike Share’s two stations in West Memphis, Arkansas, making Explore Bike Share the first two-state Dash system in the country.
“We’ve felt the impact of bike traffic into West Memphis due to the connectivity of Big River Crossing, so we knew we needed to invest in this bike share system,” said Jim Jackson, Executive Director of the West Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau.
Explore Bike Share has been identified as a national model for its equitable engagement prior to launch.
“Rather than simply putting bikes on the street and reacting, we’re proactively giving Memphians the opportunity to have ownership over these bikes and their locations,” said Sara Studdard, Community Engagement & Marketing Director. “They’re putting pins in a map, guiding our site planning practice, and even eagerly unboxing the bikes hours after arrival into the market. We’re grateful for the involvement from every kind of Memphian imaginable. This system truly is built for Memphis by Memphians.”
To implement the system itself, Explore Bike Share has hired a growing team of locally-hired bike technicians, led by new Bike Fleet Manager Jon Peg, who previously ran operations at Revolutions Bicycle Co-Op. Charence King an Orange Mound resident and volunteer with Explore Bike Share since 2015, has joined the team, along with Ellis Clemons from Advance Memphis.
The operations team is currently implementing technology as a result of over 300 community volunteers’ sign-ups to physically “unbox” the 600 box-shipment of bikes in February.
Explore Bike Share’s revenue relies on usage and sponsorship. Its membership costs are committed to being affordable for visitors and all Memphians whether through community partnerships or existing health programs. Membership options are as follows:
- Single Ride: $5
- Weekly Membership: $12
- Monthly Membership: $15
- Annual Membership: $120
Weekly, monthly and annual memberships offer users unlimited 60-minute rides from one station to another. If more than 60 minutes pass before the user docks their bike at a station, overtime usage fees will apply. However, users may dock from one station to the next to ensure their hourly allowance does not expire.
Membership will be offered closer to actual launch, but two payment opportunities are now live on the new website explorebikeshare.com: the “name on a bike” dedication and “Give Your Neighbor a Lift” donation opportunities.
For $500, one can dedicate a bike with a name of your choice (with a 25-character limit), to be printed and installed on a bike share bike’s front fork for all to see and appreciate. An one-year annual membership will be included in the transaction.
A “Give Your Neighbor a Lift” membership for $200 will support an annual membership for both yourself and a member of the Memphis community in need of greater transportation access. This missional model, thanks to the generosity of Memphians, will secure access to more citizens. Donors will receive a code to redeem membership when membership sign-ups become publicly available.
Explore Bike Share’s new look, which is now live on explorebikeshare.com and social media channels, brings a new color palette and brand elements of energy, spirit and ease. The headline, “It’s just like riding a bike,” reflects the approachability that this transportation amenity can offer Memphians and visitors, no matter the distance. Bikes, station kiosks, and other assets, branded by DCA, will be embedded in the market throughout implementation this Spring.