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FEBRUARY 9, 2018 | SMARTCITIES DIVE

Memphis welcomes 600-bike fleet for Explore Bike Share Program 

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DIVE BRIEF

Community members in Memphis, TN "unboxed" a fleet of 600 bikes this week in preparation for Explore Bike Share's spring launch of the city's first bike-share program.

Explore Bike Share — a local 501(c)(3) organization developed to explore the possibilities for shared mobility in Memphis — "happened upon" a city-funded feasibility study in 2015 that showed Memphis could support a system of 600 bikes and 60 stations, according to community engagement and marketing director Sara Studdard. The group then spent years running community listening sessions and designing the program to be equitable and accessible for all Memphis residents.

Riders will soon be able to access the bike-share program in a number of ways: through a BCycle Dash mobile app, through a touch-screen on the bike, or through an RFID card that can be paid for with credit or cash.

DIVE INSIGHT

Though the idea to bring a bike-share program to the city was sparked more than two years ago, the city-funded feasibility study "sat on the shelf" because Memphis wasn't in the position to fund the initiative. The feasibility study was also faulty in some ways, said Studdard, who noted it only focused on the downtown core and that area's population of moderate- to high- income white people.

"Memphis is a majority African-American city that is full of culture and vibrancy, but also struggles with transportation and income and health disparities. We knew that if bike-share were to come to Memphis and work in Memphis, that it needed to really be authentically of Memphis and that included reaching some of our really great historical neighborhoods that have also been traditionally underserved," Studdard told Smart Cities Dive.

Through the community listening sessions, Explore Bike Share determined where the most interest is for the 60 stations to be installed, ensuring residents across the city will have the opportunity to utilize the program. By taking its time to research and develop an inclusive bike-share program, Explore Bike Share will likely position itself as a successful organization from the get-go and become a model for other cities hoping to do the same.

And the opportunity for growth is already a reality for Explore Bike Share. Studdard explained the organization secured a federal grant through the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) to fund an expansion in 2019 and bring an additional 300 bikes and 30 stations to the program.

When asked about the possibility of bringing a dockless option to Memphis, Studdard said the city's current mobile infrastructure and bike culture is better suited for a station based system, though BCycle Dash presents the opportunity to dock bikes outside of the station. However, considering current obstacles facing dockless bike programs in other cites, starting with a station-based system is likely the right call.


FEBRUARY 8, 2018 | LOCAL MEMPHIS 24

Volunteers Help Move Bike-sharing Program Forward

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Dozens of volunteers are pitching in to help get the Bluff City's first bike sharing program off the ground.

Explore Bike Share received a shipment of about 600 bikes last week.

A volunteer un-boxing event to unpack the bikes was expected to run from Tuesday through Thursday this week, but the response has been so great that Explore Bike Share is hoping to finish things up a day early.

It's that kind of community involvement program leaders are hoping for in the future.

"We are so excited, not only for potential ridership members, but also to create specific programming for each individual Memphis neighborhood that we're targeting," says Rajah Brown, operations director for Explore Bike Share.

The next step is to fully assemble the bikes, complete with smart kits that will include GPS and the ability to track riders' data.

Explore Bike Share is planning a tentative launch for early spring.


FEBRUARY 8, 2018 | CHOOSE901

Building Community Through Bikes: Rajah Brown Joins Explore Bike Share

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With the help of new Operations Director Rajah Brown, Explore Bike Share is bringing the nation’s largest bike sharing installation of its kind to Memphis.

Bike sharing provides a network of bicycles to rent from stations around the city, and Explore Bike Share is striving to bring that concept to Memphis, making bikes accessible to as many Memphians as possible. Their organization believes that biking will improve our city in many ways, from sharing culture to improving health and their new team member Rajah Brown agrees. The Memphis-native brings more than 15 years of community-based recreation management experience to the team.

Brown joins the Explore Bike Share team under Executive Director Trey Moore and alongside Sara Studdard, Community Engagement & Marketing Director.

Brown is a graduate of management building program Urban Arrow, and he also worked as Program Director of the Mayor’s Safe Summer Initiative – where he successfully created holistic programming for thousands of annual participants. Additionally, Brown spent a decade with Memphis Athletic Ministries where he developed and implemented programs at all of the organization’s major facilities.

Choose901: As a native Memphian, can you share about the city’s progress as you’ve seen it and what you think Explore Bike Share means for the city’s trajectory? Rajah Brown: With tons of new development, major corporations bringing thousands of jobs and rising housing markets in our region, I am super excited to see Memphis on the rise and I am grateful for my next opportunity to be involved in the process through Explore Bike Share. In my opinion, Explore Bike Share is an essential component of a concerted effort to transform Memphis into a progressive, vibrant city that fully supports its current residents and appeals to non-residents.

C901: You’ve stated that you’re excited to engage residents through workforce development and community safety and advocacy efforts. How do those pieces connect in your role at Explore Bike Share? RB: One of my personal missions in life is to help build community across socioeconomic lines by empowering the under-resourced, motivating the middle-class and educating the affluent. As Operations Director, I will definitely wear a lot of hats, but I am most passionate about creating and implementing programs that will promote healthy relationships, mentalities and lifestyles.

C901: What’s something in Memphis that’s an authentic and true representation of the city at its best? What is it in the city that moves you? RB: Without question, the Memphis Grizzlies and its “Grit n’ Grind” mantra. The team highlights our city’s hard work (or blue-collar) mentality and brings residents from every social sector together to stand as a united front. This activity is often replicated in other areas, and I believe that is when our city is at its best.

C901: From your time with Urban Arrow learning about urban leadership, what’s something that’s misunderstood about the work, or something you learned that unlocked a different level of understanding for how to be of service? In other words, the biggest takeaway? RB: The Urban Arrow program challenges you to move beyond surface-level thinking in organizational leadership. Rather than spreading your organization thin by being satisfactory in multiple areas, instead centralize your focus and become an expert in one, maybe two areas—then partner with other agencies to fill any voids.

C901: What is the biggest takeaway from your time at Memphis Athletic Ministries and how will it help you execute at Explore Bike Share? RB: During my 10 years of service at Memphis Athletic Ministries, I was able to build relationships in virtually every Memphis neighborhood, inside and outside the loop. Through first-hand experience, I obtained an education in geography and culture; but more importantly, I gained a unique perspective of the heartbeat of the city—the wants and needs of its residents. Explore Bike Share will soon have the ability to connect all Memphians in some capacity, and I will utilize those experiences to advance our city on multiple fronts, from sharing culture to improving health.

and what he is most looking forward to at Explore Bike Share


FEBRUARY 6, 2018 | THE COMMERCIAL APPEAL

Memphis bike share program gets the wheels rolling toward a spring launch

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Emily Cupples grew up on a gravel road in a small town, so cycling wasn't a big part of her childhood.

That changed, however, when she moved to Memphis about six years ago. The millennial lives in Midtown, and she bought a bicycle because she saw it as an easy way to get from home to Downtown. What's happening now with bike sharing is, she believes, the next logical step forward for the city.

"I think the past five years, we've seen a renaissance as far as the bike scene in Memphis," Cupples said Tuesday while unpacking one of the BCycle Dash bikes that will make up the initial 600-bike fleet of Explore Bike Share. "We've added more than 200 bike lanes, the Big River Crossing — bringing a bike share is the next step."

Explore Bike organizers believe Cupples is right. When the service begins with a spring launch, it will allow users to rent a bike at stations positioned throughout its service area. They'll either have needed transportation from point to point, or they can just explore.

"You'll see a high density (of bikes) in areas with high residential and commercial density," said Sara Studdard, community engagement and marketing director for Explore Bike Share. "We're also working on connecting neighborhoods that are under-served (with transportation), such as Orange Mound and South Memphis. We want people in our service area to be able to explore their neighborhood, make transportation and recreation connections, and get to know the city better."

The service area will include Midtown, Downtown, South Memphis, Binghampton, Orange Mound and Uptown. Studdard said membership options and prices are still in the works, though some price plans were discussed last summer when the program announced its plans. Studdard said users will probably be able to get a monthly, weekly or weekend membership, as well as walk-up rental options.

Bike share programs are well-established in many cities as a complement to the transportation infrastructure, but Explore is the first to bring the service to Memphis. Studdard said the three-year-old nonprofit is locally created and led. It hopes to purchase enough bikes in 2019 to expand the initial 600-bike fleet to 900 bikes through a $2.2 million federal expansion grant.

The BCycle Dash bikes have the latest technology, including a touch-screen GPS display to help users navigate around town.

Rajah Brown, the Explore operations manager, was in charge of directing the 45 or so volunteers who showed up Tuesday afternoon at Explore's warehouse on Keel Avenue, near Bass Pro, to begin unboxing bikes. The next step, assembly, comes next week.

"We're getting people from all over," Brown said of volunteers. "People who are passionate about the mission, people who are just kind of Facebook and social media followers who want to give back — a little bit of everything."

Volunteers will continue unboxing Wednesday and Thursday at the Keel warehouse site. Benjamin Orgel, Billy Orgel, Adam Slovis and Tom Marsh donated the space through a partnership with Advance Memphis. That company's forklift trainees offloaded and organized the boxes last week in preparation for this week's unboxing.

Monica Hinson of Cordova, who was helping Cupples with unpacking Tuesday, thinks that in addition to improving the city's transportation network, the bikes will have an equally important benefit: "I think it'll make people more active."

For more information, visit explorebikeshare.com.


JANUARY 30, 2018

Bike share fleet arrives Thursday, Explore Bike Share calls for community volunteers

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This Thursday and Friday, February 1 and 2, seven truckloads of bike share equipment will arrive at Explore Bike Share’s Uptown staging warehouse at 61 Keel Avenue in anticipation for the system’s Spring launch in Memphis.

“Six hundred state-of-the-art BCycle Dash bikes, which collectively make up the largest system of this technology caliber in the country, will be arriving this week in over six hundred boxes,” said Rajah Brown, Explore Bike Share’s Operations Director. “And those six hundred boxes need to be unpacked.”

The bike share shipments will be properly staged in Explore Bike Share’s warehouse, donated by—Benjamin Orgel, Billy Orgel, Adam Slovis, and Tom Marsh— through a partnership with Advance Memphis, whose forklift trainees will offload and organize boxes for community volunteers to unpack next week.

Explore Bike Share is welcoming the entire community to volunteer in 2-hour shifts to simply unpack each bike from its box—no bike skills required—between Tuesday, February 6 and Thursday, February 8. Volunteers can enjoy drinks, snacks and a free month of bike share membership in exchange for their time.

“This is a system designed by Memphians for Memphis and, as such, we are always seeking opportunities to get more people involved,” said Sara Studdard, Community Engagement & Marketing Director of Explore Bike Share. “Plus, this is the first opportunity to see and interact with the bikes that will physically and culturally transform Memphis’ transportation landscape.”

To volunteer for a bike share unpacking shift, visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/explore-bike-share-help-us-unpack-600-bikes-tickets-42642657336.

“This week marks a huge milestone in our implementation timeline. Seven truckloads of brand new bikes are in route to a warehouse donated by Memphians to be unpacked by Memphians,” said Rajah Brown. “I can’t think of a more reflective example of our mission, and I look forward to orchestrating this process alongside community volunteers.”


JANUARY 23, 2018 | MEMPHIS DAILY NEWS

Rajah Brown named Operations Director

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Explore Bike Share, a local 501(c)3 that is bringing bike share to Memphis this spring, is proud to announce Rajah Brown as its new Operations Director to lead the installation of the largest bike share system of its kind in the nation.

Memphis-native Rajah Brown brings more than 15 years of experience in community-based recreation management to his role, where he will guide, implement, and innovate the structure of Memphis’ revolutionary bike share system.

Prior to joining Explore Bike Share, Rajah was directly responsible for creating holistic programming for over 4,000 annual participants of the Mayor's Safe Summer Initiative. He spent a decade with Memphis Athletic Ministries, ultimately developing and implementing all major programs for the organization’s ten facilities. He is also a graduate of Urban Arrow, a comprehensive management and organizational capacity-building program for urban leaders.

Rajah joins the Explore Bike Share leadership team under Executive Director Trey Moore, alongside Sara Studdard, Community Engagement & Marketing Director.

“Rajah’s operational and organizational leadership was stand-out on its own,” said Trey Moore, “but his wholehearted approach for community advocacy and effective engagement was profoundly compelling and, at the core, in line with Explore Bike Share’s mission.”

Over the next two months, Rajah will build an operations team, including a lead technician and four additional bike technicians. Volunteers from corporate and community sectors will be invited to participate in the buildout of the bikes and stations prior to service area placement throughout Orange Mound, Uptown, Midtown, Downtown, South Memphis, and Binghampton.

“BCycle’s bike and station components are arriving at our Uptown warehouse next week, so we’re in full activation mode from this point forward,” said Rajah Brown. “I’m honored to take the lead on the implementation of this remarkable offering for our city, but I’m even more excited to engage residents through workforce development and community safety and advocacy efforts. I have a passion for the advancement of this city, and this organization has continuously proven to be a one-of-a-kind opportunity.”

Under Rajah’s operations lead, Explore Bike Share will be introducing the largest bike share system of its kind in the nation with BCycle’s Dash system, representing innovation in new bike share technology and accessibility. Rajah will undergo extensive training on the mechanics and technology of the BCycle system, as well as direct the headquarters build-out and citywide station installations.

Once the bike share system is rolling this Spring, Rajah will create logistical strategies to ensure an evenly balanced, easy-to-use system of bikes with streamlined customer service and maintenance protocols.


JANUARY 10, 2018 | MEMPHIS DAILY NEWS

Sara Studdard named Community Engagement & Marketing Director

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Explore Bike Share, a 501(c) bringing bike share to Memphis this spring, is pleased to announce Sara Studdard as its Community Engagement & Marketing Director.

Studdard joins the nonprofit after serving as Explore Bike Share’s project manager for three years at DCA, a creative communications consulting firm and driver of Memphis’ bike share effort. She will support Executive Director Trey Moore across program development, community outreach, marketing, sponsorship, and workplace culture.

“Sara’s passion for and growing expertise in this area are a leading reason why Explore Bike Share’s strategy stands as the model for greater Memphis’s community engagement and the national transit/bike share industry,” said Trey Moore, Explore Bike Share Executive Director. “She holds knowledge from daily operations to the international transit landscape, and her extensive partner and programming development is second-to-none for our mission and momentum.”

As Explore Bike Share’s primary on-the-ground representative through her leadership at DCA, Studdard has spoken on national conference panels about transportation equity and authentic community engagement models. Her work has been highlighted in national publications including Better Bike Share Partnership and Bike Fixation.

“Every day, multiple times a day, I am struck by how powerful bike share will be for the city of Memphis and our residents,” said Studdard. “My participation over the years with Explore Bike Share has been a personal and professional privilege, and I couldn’t be more grateful to continue representing this transformational asset for every Memphian.”

Studdard has almost a dozen years of diverse marketing and community engagement experience, including: past work with the Broad Avenue Arts District redevelopment, where she supported business owners and residents through diverse and dynamic programming and a Hampline ioby fundraising campaign; service as past president of the Cooper Young Community Farmers Market; and years of project management for creative placemaking and neighborhood-centered engagements at DCA. She is co-founder of The Bike Nerds Podcast with Kyle Wagenshutz, prior City of Memphis Bike/Ped Manager.

“It has been an honor to have worked alongside Sara to grow this concept into a reality, and we at DCA look forward to witnessing and working under her leadership to bring Explore Bike Share’s mission to fruition,” said Doug Carpenter, principal at DCA.

Among other initial Explore Bike Share action items, including its comprehensive launch this Spring, Studdard will soon hire a team to serve the Memphis community on behalf of Explore Bike Share. Explore Bike Share’s Community Engagement Manager position will become available for applications on Tuesday, January 16 and remain open through the end of January.


JANUARY 5, 2018 | NEXT CITY

5 Transportation Projects to Watch in 2018

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There was plenty of good, bad, and weird news on the transportation beat in 2017.

Driverless cars began taking to the roadways in numbers. New Orleans launched a bike share system. An Amtrak train making its first run on a new line derailed near Olympia, Washington, killing three people. Elon Musk called public transit advocate Jarrett Walker an “idiot.”

But transit is all about moving forward. American cities are preparing to launch projects that could change the way people get around town and chip away at their dependence on private cars. Here are a few transportation projects to watch for in 2018.

Seattle light-rail expansions

Nearly a decade after voters approved the Sound Transit 2 ballot measure, pouring more than $17 billion into road and transit upgrades in the Puget Sound region of Washington over 15 years, Seattle is almost ready to begin construction on the Lynnwood Link Extension. The proposed 8.5-mile light rail line will connect Lynnwood, a small northern suburb, to downtown Seattle with an estimated 28-minute ride, according to Sound Transit. The project got formal approval from the Federal Transit Authority in 2015, and construction is scheduled to begin this year.

Sound Transit has applied for a $1.17 billion federal grant to cover part of the estimated $3 billion cost, but it’s not a sure thing. Last spring, President Donald Trump’s preliminary budget proposal threatened funding for the light rail expansions. Sound Transit is still proceeding with the project, but the federal grant is key. The project is already $500 million over budget.

A big year for bikeshare

This spring, Memphis is getting its own bikeshare system. The B-Cycle Dash system will launch with 600 bikes, tricked out with “a color touch-screen display with onboard GPS, automatic lights and four methods of payment,” according to the Memphis Daily News. Explore Bikeshare, the organization that’s planning the system, is expected to roll out an additional 300 bikes next year.

Bikeshare systems are getting more sophisticated all over. Three cities in California are launching the biggest electric-bike network in the country this May. (Electric bikes are semi-self-propelled, so you don’t have to pedal as much.) In Washington, D.C., Social Bicycles Inc. launched a network of dockless electric bikes, branded as JUMP, in September. Dockless bike share is a growing trend in the U.S. and around the world, as highlighted by Slate.

Denver hoping for a new commuter rail line

In 2004, voters in and around Denver approved a plan to put $4.7 billion into new transit infrastructure, including 120 miles of new light rail and regional commuter rail and 18 miles of bus rapid transit. The program, called FasTracks, has opened a series of new railway lines in the last few years. It has put Denver in contention, as CityLab put it, to be the “most advanced transit city in the west.”

This year, regional commuters are hoping to see the opening of the G Line, running from Union Station in Denver to the western suburb of Wheat Ridge. Residents were hoping the G Line would be running in 2016, but the opening was delayed because of a software problem that left gates down too long at at-grade crossings, according to The Denver Post. The Regional Transportation District still has not announced an official opening date for the 11-mile line, but testing in the first days of the new year has been giving residents hope.

New ferry routes in New York

Last spring, New York got a handful of new public ferry routes, allowing passengers to float on the East River between Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens, where previously ferry service was only privately run. The routes augment the longstanding Staten Island Ferry, and like the subway, cost $2.75 a ride. Currently, ferries run as far as the Rockaways and Astoria. This summer, the network will be complete when two new routes are launched, linking Long Island City in Queens and Clason Point in the Bronx to the Lower East Side of Manhattan.

Already, the new routes are having an impact on waterfront development in Brooklyn and Queens. And NYC Ferry is planning to put bigger boats into service this year.

Bus rapid transit in Indianapolis

This year, Indianapolis will begin construction on a 13-mile electric bus rapid transit line that will run through downtown, from Broad Ripple in the north to the University of Indianapolis in the south. The project is expected to cost $96 million. The state has used eminent domain powers to obtain some portions of privately owned land for construction, and has collected some detractors in the process. When service starts in 2019, buses will be scheduled to arrive at stops every ten minutes throughout most of the day, and will stop within a quarter-mile of 150,000 jobs, according to IndyGo, the Indianapolis Public Transportation Corporation.


DECEMBER 21, 2017 | MEMPHIS DAILY NEWS

Explore Bike Share names Executive Director

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With its spring 2018 launch right around the corner, Memphis native Trey Moore has been named the inaugural executive director of Explore Bike Share.

Prior to taking this job, Moore served as executive director of voluntary health organizations in Atlanta for more than 12 years.

“I watched my hometown of Memphis from afar and had grown eager to return to experience and take part in the city’s renaissance,” Moore said in a release. “Explore Bike Share’s mission and goals encourage me, and to be a part of connecting people to their city is powerful. I am ready to pick up the reins and continue this nonprofit’s innovative effort.”

Currently, Explore Bike Share’s leadership is being housed in temporary office space at 656 Madison Ave. through February that was provided by the Memphis Medical District Collaborative. Additionally, Benjamin Orgel, Billy Orgel, Adam Slovis and Tom Marsh donated warehouse space in Uptown that will be used in early 2018 for the build-out of bikes and bike stations.

Explore Bike Share is a local nonprofit organization that is working to create a 600-bike sharing program to promote transportation, tourism, health, environment, and culture in the Memphis area. The system will expand to 900 bikes by 2019.


DECEMBER 21, 2017 | THE COMMERCIAL APPEAL

Moore hired to lead Explore Bike Share

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Voluntary health organization executive Trey Moore has been named the first executive director of Explore Bike Share.

Moore is tasked with overseeing the nonprofit’s spring rollout of a new bike-sharing system with 600 bicycles and 60 stations. It's expected to expand to 900 bicycles and 90 stations within two years.

Moore returns to Memphis from Atlanta after serving as seven years as executive director of JDRF International, a leading supporter of type 1 or juvenile diabetes research. He previously was executive director of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation in Greater Memphis for five years and the Memphis Youth Performing Arts Association for three years, his LinkedIn profile says.

“I watched my hometown of Memphis from afar and had grown eager to return to experience and take part in the city’s renaissance,” said Moore. “Explore Bike Share’s mission and goals encourage me, and to be a part of connecting people to their city is powerful. I am ready to pick up the reins and continue this nonprofit’s innovative effort."

He arrives as the organization looks for a permanent headquarters and prepares to begin assembling bicycles and stations in January at a donated Uptown warehouse. It's temporarily housed at 656 Madison by the Memphis Medical District Collaborative,

Explore Bike Share will offer a system of bicycles that can be rented on a per-ride or membership basis by local residents and tourists alike.

It will feature B-Cycle Dash’s eight-speed bicycles with color touch-screen displays and onboard GPS for navigation purposes.

Roshun Austin, board member of Explore Bike Share and executive director of The Works CDC said the board is “confident Trey will lead a system built for every type of Memphian.”

Doug McGowen, board chairman, said, “As we progress toward Explore Bike Share’s launch, we are thrilled to welcome a strong leader who has dedicated his career to harnessing experiences and perspectives of stakeholders for a common purpose.”

Doug Carpenter, who founded the program and has been its point person since 2015, added, “Trey’s professional expertise and personal commitment to Explore Bike Share’s mission will build on our community-driven work. Under his leadership, the organization is moving full-force ahead to get bikes on the ground in a transparent, engaging style.”

DECEMBER 20, 2017

Explore Bike Share announces Executive Director

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MEMPHIS, TN—Explore Bike Share has hired its inaugural executive director to lead the Memphis nonprofit to its Spring 2018 launch of a robust 600-bike bike share system.

Trey Moore, returning to his Memphis roots from Atlanta, has successfully served as executive director of voluntary health organizations for over 12 years. He has exceled in strategic relationship management, organizational leadership, as well as entrepreneurial fund development approaches and results.

“I watched my hometown of Memphis from afar and had grown eager to return to experience and take part in the city’s renaissance,” said Moore. “Explore Bike Share’s mission and goals encourage me, and to be a part of connecting people to their city is powerful. I am ready to pick up the reins and continue this nonprofit’s innovative effort.”

“Trey understands that Explore Bike Share will neither be static nor exclusive,” said Roshun Austin, board member of Explore Bike Share and executive director of The Works CDC in South Memphis. “He is committed to being responsive and adaptive to the needs of the community, as already practiced by our partnerships with a multitude of neighborhood and community organizations. We’re confident Trey will lead a system built for every type of Memphian.”

While hiring a diverse organizational staff that is representative of Memphis’ majority African-American population, Moore will work with the Board of Directors, BCycle, and DCA, Explore Bike Share’s creative agency of record, to introduce the transformational transportation system to Memphis.

“Trey demonstrates a keen ability to balance a community engagement mentality with a discernment for financial sustainability and ROI for community partners and corporate sponsors,” said Jaske Goff, Explore Bike Share board hiring committee lead and Vice President, Operations for the Downtown Memphis Commission.

The Memphis Medical District Collaborative (MMDC) is hosting Explore Bike Share’s leadership—including Moore and BCycle’s project lead—in a temporary office space at 656 Madison Avenue through February. Simultaneously, Uptown warehouse space, donated by Benjamin Orgel, Billy Orgel, Adam Slovis and Tom Marsh, will be used in early 2018 for station and bike buildout.

“One of the reoccurring and confirming observations is the commitment of those who have already stepped forward to support Explore Bike Share,” said Moore. “The MMDC’s offer to provide temporary headquarters while we get our feet under us, as well as the Orgels’ donation of warehouse space, are extremely appreciated.”

“As we progress toward Explore Bike Share’s launch, we are thrilled to welcome a strong leader who has dedicated his career to harnessing experiences and perspectives of stakeholders for a common purpose,” said Doug McGowen, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Explore Bike Share and COO/CFO of the City of Memphis.

Explore Bike Share is currently seeking public input surrounding initial station siting, both digitally and through community events. Over 3,000 location pins have been submitted via an interactive map powered by All World Project Management. Site selection input will be live until December 31.

“This two-year-long ‘exploration’ has been a truly unique opportunity, and my hope is that Memphis will continue to explore bike share for years to come,” said Doug Carpenter, founder of the Explore Bike Share effort. “Trey’s professional expertise and personal commitment to Explore Bike Share’s mission will build on our community-driven work. Under his leadership, the organization is moving full-force ahead to get bikes on the ground in a transparent, engaging style.”

For more information, visit explorebikeshare.com.

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ABOUT BIKE SHARE. Bike share is an innovative transportation program, ideal for short distance point-to-point trips providing users the ability to pick up a bicycle at any self-serve bike station and return it to any other bike station located within the system's service area. Bike share operates in over 119 U.S. cities to date.

ABOUT EXPLORE BIKE SHARE. Explore Bike Share is a Memphis 501(c)3 with a mission to create and implement a transportation tool to advance the city on multiple fronts—including but not limited to transportation, tourism, health, environment, and culture—through the development and operation of a bike sharing program with access to as many Memphians as possible. Initially launching with a 600-bike system by Spring 2018, the system will expand to 900 bikes by 2019. For more information, visit explorebikeshare.com.


DeCember 19, 2017 | THE COMMERCIAL APPEAL

Real estate investors lend Uptown warehouse site for Explore Bike Share's heavy lifting

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Tennessee Brewery developers are giving the Explore Bike Share network a lift by donating temporary use of a future development site in Uptown for the buildout of 600 bicycles and 60 bike-sharing stations.

The old Aqua Serv warehouse at 61 Keel at North Front will become a workshop for Explore Bike Share in January and February as organizers push toward a spring rollout of the network.

The 28,000-square-foot warehouse is one of multiple properties amassed over the past 18 months by a partnership including Tower Ventures president and chief executive Billy Orgel.

Orgel and partners are nearly finished with redevelopment of the long-vacant South Bluffs landmark the Tennessee Brewery. The Keel warehouse partnership includes his son Benjamin Orgel, Adam Slovis and Tom Marsh.

Benjamin Orgel, an agent with commercial realty firm Slovis and Associates, said partners are still discussing what to do with properties on the north end of Downtown. Holdings include a manufacturing facility and a warehouse that belonged to American Snuff Co.

“We’re still brainstorming and seeing what the best use is,” he said.

Tennessee Brewery backers have been enthused about Explore Bike Share since Doug Carpenter began leading the charge. “We told them we’d like to be involved in any way we can,” Orgel said.

The group was a founding funder, it is paying for a bike sharing station near the Brewery, and it is lending the use of the Keel Street warehouse for assembly of key components.

“We support any way to boost public transportation in the city,” Orgel said. “I know it’s a small step, but any step forward is good. In other cities, it’s a cheap way to use transportation, and exercise is always a good thing.”

The Brewery development, which includes new apartments and commercial space and a parking facility, has direct access to a blufftop trail through Butler Park.

A bike-sharing station “is another way to make the whole project attractive,” Orgel said.

Explore Bike Share organizers have been working since 2015 to create a system of bicycles that can be rented on a per-ride or membership basis by local residents and tourists alike.

The B-Cycle Dash system will feature eight-speed bicycles with color touch-screen displays and onboard GPS for navigation purposes.

Organizers are currently getting public feedback on where bike-sharing locations should be. An interactive, online mapping tool is available at explorebikeshare.com.

Station locations are expected to be announced in February.

Organizers have plans to grow the network to 90 stations and 900 bicycles in 2019.


Bike share station sites for Memphis narrowed down by digital reach

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A Memphis bike-sharing initiative is asking Memphians where they want stations located to deploy 600 bicycles next spring.

The nonprofit Explore Bike Share will have an interactive, crowd-sourced bike share station map available online through Dec. 31 to collect input. It can be found at explorebikeshare.com.

Explore Bike Share has been working since 2015 to create a new transportation option for local residents and tourists: bicycles that can be rented on a per-ride or membership basis.

The B-Cycle Dash system will feature eight-speed bicycles with color touch-screen displays and onboard GPS for navigation purposes.

The effort to pinpoint bike sharing station locations comes at a time when Explore Bike Share is also looking for real estate for its headquarters and hiring key personnel.

The mapping tool allows people to digitally pin, share and like preferences for the 60 initial bike share stations. It was designed in partnership with All World Project Management, a local project management, engineering and information technology firm.

“This is an opportunity for everyone to contribute to the building of a transformational transportation and cultural asset,” said Roshun Austin, Explore Bike Share board member and executive director of The Works CDC in South Memphis.

“We’ve said from day one that the most effective system would be built by Memphis for Memphis—so here’s your chance to share your vision for physical bike share station locations,” Austin said in a news release.

In addition to online data collection, Explore Bike Share’s strategic partner Innovate Memphis has assigned a community engagement specialist, Aryanna Smith, to reach out to worksites and neighborhoods to make sure the bike sharing program is equitable and successful.

Station locations are expected to be announced in February.

Organizers have plans to grow the network to 90 stations and 900 bicycles in 2019.


DECEMBER 12, 2017 | MEMPHIS DAILY NEWS

Explore Bike Share accepting input for station locations

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Explore Bike Share, a nonprofit that is implementing a 600-bicycle bike-share system in Memphis next spring, has launched an interactive, crowdsourced bike-share station siting map.

The site gives Memphians the opportunity to digitally pin and share spots where they would like to see one or more of the 60 initial bike-share stations that will be installed in early spring.

Designed in partnership with All World Project Management, a Memphis-based customized project management, engineering and information technology firm, the map allows users to select specific points on a map, see where others have pinned to “like,” and share their participation across social media channels.

“This is an opportunity for everyone to contribute to the building of a transformational transportation and cultural asset,” said Roshun Austin, Explore Bike Share board member and executive director of The Works CDC in South Memphis. “We’ve said from day one that the most effective system would be built by Memphis for Memphis – so here’s your chance to share your vision for physical bike-share station locations.”

Innovate Memphis, a strategic partner of Explore Bike Share since its 2015 inception, has hired a bike share community engagement specialist to support Explore Bike Share’s community engagement efforts. The position was made possible by a federal CMAQ (Congestion & Mitigation Air Quality) match grant.

Aryanna Smith, Innovate Memphis’ bike share community engagement specialist, will work on behalf of Explore Bike Share to build partnerships with worksites and neighborhoods to ensure an equitable and successful rollout of the bike -share system.

Data from the interactive map and in-person site selection effort will be analyzed by All World Project Management and BCycle’s implementation team for final station locations, which will be unveiled in February.

The interactive map will accept submissions until Dec. 31 at explorebikeshare.com.


DECEMBER 8, 2017 | MAYA SMITH | THE MEMPHIS FLYER

Explore Bike Share wants Memphians' input on Sites for future stations

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Explore Bike Share, launching here in spring 2018, is asking Memphians to help decide where the first 60 bike stations should be located in the city.

Residents can visit the bike-share system’s interactive map and drop a pin on their choices for stations, as well as “like” locations suggested by others.

Of the 415 locations pinned on the map so far, more than half are in or around downtown, concentrated between Riverside, Danny Thomas, Poplar, and G.E. Patterson. Pins also mark spots in Uptown, the Medical District, Mud Island, and South Memphis.

Further east, past Bellevue, about a quarter of the sites chosen are in the midtown area bordered by East Parkway, Poplar, and Central, including 31 requests for a station near Overton Park and the zoo.

Operated by the B-Cycle Dash System, the 60 stations will initially store 600 bikes, adding another 300 in 2019.

B-Cycle Dash System currently operates 1,250 bike share stations with more than 10,000 bikes in 50 communities. Their bikes are equipped with high-tech amenities, such as GPS systems with route recommendations and turn-by-turn directions.

The interactive map can be viewed here.


DECEMBER 8, 2017

Community invited to share Explore Bike Share station spots in anticipation of spring launch

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Explore Bike Share, a local 501(c)3 that is implementing a robust and inclusive 600-bike bike share system in Memphis next Spring, has officially launched an interactive, crowdsourced bike share station siting map.

Memphians now have the opportunity to digitally pin and share spots where they would like to see one (or multiple) of the 60 initial bike share stations that will be installed on-the-ground in early Spring.

Designed in partnership with All World Project Management, a Memphis-based customized project management, engineering and information technology firm, the map allows users to select specific points on a map, see where others have pinned to “like,” and share their participation across social media channels.

“This is an opportunity for everyone to contribute to the building of a transformational transportation and cultural asset,” said Roshun Austin, Explore Bike Share board member and executive director of The Works CDC in South Memphis. “We’ve said from day one that the most effective system would be built by Memphis for Memphis—so here’s your chance to share your vision for physical bike share station locations.”

Innovate Memphis, a strategic partner of Explore Bike Share since its 2015 inception—as practiced through project manager Suzanne Carlson’s leadership on the Board of Directors—has hired a bike share community engagement specialist to support Explore Bike Share’s community engagement efforts. The position was made possible by a federal CMAQ (Congestion & Mitigation Air Quality) match grant.

Aryanna Smith, Innovate Memphis’ bike share community engagement specialist, will work on behalf of Explore Bike Share to build partnerships with worksites and neighborhoods to ensure an equitable and successful roll-out of Memphis’ bike share system.

“I’m excited to meet Memphians and bring the Explore Bike Share experience to spaces where they live, work, meet and learn,” said Smith.

Whether a church picnic, slow ride or community meeting, Aryanna and Explore Bike Share ambassadors will speak with individuals and groups on a daily basis to educate and energize the community of Memphis surrounding bike share.

For example, Explore Bike Share will join a North Memphis 3.0 Public Workshop on December 12 and 13, as well as a Revolutions Bicycle Coop’s Women’s Bike Ride & Chat on December 17.

“Explore Bike Share’s inclusive mission not only align with the purpose of Revolutions, but they’re additive to our programming and advocacy efforts,” said Sylvia Crum, founder of Revolutions and original advisory board member of Explore Bike Share in 2015. “We know next week’s event will be the first of many bike share collaborations.”

Data from the interactive map and in-person site selection effort will be analyzed by All World Project Management and BCycle’s implementation team for final station locations, which will be unveiled in February.

The interactive map will accept submissions until December 31. To select your service-area station preferences and see where Explore Bike Share will have a presence at Memphis events, visit explorebikeshare.com.


DECEMBER 6, 2017 | DR. LEWIS REICH | THE COMMERCIAL APPEAL

Bike share system will help medical center grow

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We live in a competitive world. In order to be successful, we must compete not only through our core strengths, but also through the ancillary aspects that affect our success. This approach is required for both the for-profit and the education worlds.

At the Southern College of Optometry (SCO), we recruit students from across the country. Our current graduate student population represents over 40 states.

Our academic offerings are second to none, but our biggest recruiting challenge -- to attract these brilliant minds to Memphis versus Chicago and New York -- is to share and sell the quality of life that compounds upon their academic experience while living in Memphis.

We must ensure our students' decision is a holistic one, meeting their needs both in and out of the classroom.

That’s why financially and philosophically supporting Explore Bike Share’s launch in Memphis this Spring makes complete sense to the Southern College of Optometry.

Memphis has incredible assets for education, lifestyle, culture, and recreation. Explore Bike Share, to us, is a clear opportunity to tie those together for more people, not the least of which is the student experience here at SCO.

Our student population comprises the largest student population living in the Medical District. We want to provide reliable and convenient access for our students to get from point A to point B -- not just from the apartment to the classroom, but from our Crosstown “Focal Point” clinic to dinner, or from the coffee shop to the concert.

Socialization is key for "student life," as we like to say in the collegiate world.

Furthermore, we are confident Explore Bike Share will tie our physical campus and clinics together, both of which reside in the system’s initial service area.

Over 60,000 local residents rely on SCO for their eye care through our clinics and community outreach efforts. Through our new space in Crosstown Concourse and our countless community partnerships, pop-ups and services, we believe it is critical to lower the barrier to eye care and increase both transportation access and medical care access to all.

We also believe that this endeavor enhances the quality of our city on a level with other cities cultivating more vibrant downtown areas. The environmental impact is also a win for our city as participants park their cars and see the city up close from their bikes.

With the vision of Explore Bike Share, SCO sees a clear competitive advantage as we continue to grow in our academics, our people and our practice.

Dr. Lewis Reich is president of the Southern College of Optometry, a founding institution of Explore Bike Share, a 501(c)3 that is bringing a robust bike share system to Memphis in Spring 2018.


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MEMPHIS, TN—Explore Bike Share, a local 501(c)3 that is implementing a robust and inclusive 600-bike bike share system in Memphis next Spring, has officially opened its search for a Community Engagement & Marketing Director (CEMD).

Explore Bike Share’s CEMD will support the Executive Director across program development, community outreach, marketing, sponsorship, and workplace culture.

Initially, the CEMD will collaborate with both the Executive Director and the Board of Directors to develop a deep knowledge of the field, core programs, operations, and Explore Bike Share’s revenue model. In accordance with Explore Bike Share’s stated values, the CEMD will ensure equity in program delivery so that unbanked, low-income and non-web-enabled individuals and communities have robust access to the program.

“This compelling leadership role not only ensures that Explore Bike Share is successful from a ridership perspective, but also ensures that the ridership reflects the authenticity of Memphis through robust community engagement, neighborhood partnerships, and effective programming,” said Porsche Stevens, Community Relations Coordinator of Crosstown Arts and Crosstown Concourse and Explore Bike Share board member.

To that end, Explore Bike Share is seeking a passionate communicator with excellent interpersonal and multidisciplinary project skills to fill the role. Applicants must show excellence in organizational management and the ability to work effectively in collaboration with diverse groups of people.

In placing 60 stations and 600 bikes throughout Orange Mound, Uptown, Midtown, Downtown, South Memphis, and Binghampton, Explore Bike Share will be introducing the largest bike share system of its kind in the nation.

Once the system is rolling in Memphis next spring, the CEMD will be responsible for expanding local revenue generating and fundraising activities and ensuring ongoing local programmatic excellence through rigorous evaluation, among other team-oriented tasks.

To learn more about Explore Bike Share’s Community Engagement & Marketing Director position and view its job description, visit explorebikeshare.com/careers. Interested applicants may submit their resume to info@explorebikeshare.com. Applications will be accepted through December 1.


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The discussion for changes in and around Orange Mound is growing with the City of Memphis announcing the Tourism Development Zone and residents of the community expressing needs for development and housing.

Dwayne Jones, a housing developer and a native of Orange Mound, is among those working to improve the mobility and transportation options of the historic neighborhood.

Jones lobbied to make sure Orange Mound was included in the expanded bike lanes throughout the city and has explored other ways to connect the community as a complement to the existing Memphis Area Transit Authority routes, which he says are unsatisfactory.

“The bus routes have changed dramatically over the years and with the timing and frequency of buses coming through Orange Mound and the way Orange Mound is situated, the major routes are through Park Avenue or through Lamar Avenue which makes it’s difficult to get to Cooper-Young, South Memphis and other parts of the city,” he said.

Jones said he worries about general accessibility for people living in Orange Mound not only to places like the library and decent grocery stores but some of the entertainment areas in Memphis.

“There are a lot of people in the community that don’t have cars. We don’t have an Alchemy or a Soul Fish in our community,” he said.

Orange Mound was once a community of walkable amenities with sundry stores, movie theatres, and more sit-down restaurants. Over the past few decades, things have changed.

Participants at an Orange Mound group bike ride on a break. (Submitted by Dwayne Jones)

“People have limited access to basic needs and they live in a bubble," Jones said.

Jones said he understands that there are issues with safety in Orange Mound, but he does not want his community to get left behind.

“People have cell phones but no internet and almost no access to the library. They’re trying to apply for a job but the limited transportation options provides a digital divide,” he said. “I’ve done mission work in third world countries that have internet cafes and we don’t have that.”

Jones said he doesn’t always feel like the community embraces change, but that residents need to figure out ways to be connected in ways that don’t depend on MATA.

Jones said he encourages residents to explore biking as an alternative to public transit. He hosts slow rides, which are planned group rides, through Orange Mound to increase biker education, access to bikes in the neighborhood and raise awareness for biking as a way to reach health goals.

One of those bike advocates is Cherrance King, a lifelong Orange Mound resident who is dependent on public transit and prefers to ride a bike as a transportation option. He said that bus routes in Orange Mound are infrequent, and the neighborhood needs routes that run every 20 minutes as opposed to every hour.

“If they didn’t run so far apart, I think people would be able to get to work on time and not have to get up so much earlier if they had an appointment,” said King.

Nicole Lacey, chief communications officer for MATA, and John Lancaster, director of planning and scheduling for MATA, said Orange Mound has some of the best service in the city.

According to MATA, there are 90 bus stops in Orange Mound and bus riders in the neighborhood make up 2.3 percent of the average weekly ridership in the city.

Each week, approximately 2,970 people take the bus from Orange Mound and 2,800 trips are taken to Orange Mound. The most commonly used hub is at Park and Airways and the highest number of people are riding at 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

Lacey and Lancaster said adding routes is expensive and is not a quick task.

“To give you an idea, the Poplar bus route costs about $3.5 million per year. To add a whole new route with that level of service—just add another $3 million dollars per route. It pays for the bus, the gas, the labor, the operator salaries, the mechanic salaries, the administrative overhead—it pays for everything,” Lancaster said.

Lacey said she encourages people to utilize the plethora of resources MATA has available on their website, social media platforms and through apps on their phones. She said there is WIFI in the transit centers and that bus riders can call 901-274-MATA (6282) to speak to staff that will help people get from point A to point B. Mata Traveler provides real-time information on buses and trolleys and TransLoc allows riders to text 41411 with their bus stop information to find out when a bus will arrive.

“We are happy to talk to any customer about how to get from point A to point B. This is what we do every single day whether it’s through Facebook messenger or through the telephone or email. We get it all,” she said.

But Orange Mound resident King believes those efforts don’t go far enough in reaching his neighborhood. He supports the efforts of nonprofit Explore Bike Share, which will install 600 pay-per-ride bikes across Memphis this spring. The proposed initial roll-out of bikes for Explore Bike Share. Most of the bike stations are concentrated Downtown, and five stations will be put in place around Orange Mound.

As one of the upcoming neighborhoods that will benefit from a concentration of bike share stations, Orange Mound will be considered as a location for the nonprofit’s temporary warehouse and permanent headquarters.

Other locations include neighborhoods in Midtown, Downtown, South Memphis and Uptown. The organization plans to expand to 900 bikes by 2019.

“There is immense potential for activating spaces to build, operate, and maintain Memphis’ incoming fleet of bikes, and we want to make sure that everyone has the chance to share and seize the opportunity,” said John Paul Shaffer, Explore Bike Share board secretary and executive director of BLDG Memphis, stated in a press release.

The temporary warehouse will begin operations in February 2018 and stay open for three months for a bike build-out period. The permanent headquarters for Explore Bike Share will open in January 2018 and will feature a full-time staff and maintenance shop.

Through Explore Bike Share, residents will rent bikes from strategically placed bike racks in different communities. They will not be required to return the bikes to the same rack they rented from and the bikes will be equipped with baskets and GPS for the rider’s needs.

King said that Orange Mound needs a culture shift for the neighborhood to truly benefit from a bike share program.

“I feel like if there need to be more people to tell the community about the pros that come from riding a bike,” he said. “If somebody just comes up and sees a bike, they’re not going to ride it. They may not even know how to ride it.”


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Explore Bike Share is in the hunt for an operations manager to help roll out and oversee the 600-bicycle, 60-station bike-sharing system as it prepares for its grand opening next spring.

Once hired, Explore Bike Share’s new operations manager will be in charge of guiding and implementing the daily functions of the operations team by “creating efficient processes, tracking and reporting on activities, and coordinating work schedules and tasks to ensure timely solutions.”

Applicants are required to have three to five years of management experience; excellent organizational, analytical and problem-solving skills; the ability to dependably follow instructions, respond to management direction, communicate frequently and solicit feedback to improve performance; basic computer skills; and a valid driver’s license with an acceptable motor vehicle record.

Interested parties can apply for the position by sending a resume, three references and cover letter to info@explorebikeshare.com.


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Explore Bike Share, a local 501(c)3 that is implementing a robust and inclusive 600-bike bike share system in Memphis next Spring, has officially opened its search for Operations Manager.

Explore Bike Share’s Operations Manager will play the “Swiss army knife” role of the organization, requiring a hands-on management approach to guide, implement, and innovate the structure of Memphis’ revolutionary bike share system.

As leader of an Explore Bike Share operations team, which will be filled over the next six months, the Operations Manager will create efficient processes, reporting metrics, and work schedules to ensure timely solutions. Leading up to the system’s spring launch, the Operations Manager will undergo extensive training on the mechanics and technology of the BCycle system, as well as direct the headquarters build-out and citywide station installations.

Explore Bike Share is placing 60 stations and 600 bikes throughout Orange Mound, Uptown, Midtown, Downtown, South Memphis, and Binghampton. Explore Bike Share will be introducing the largest bike share system of its kind in the nation with BCycle’s Dash system, representing innovation in new bike share technology and accessibility. Turn-by-turn GPS navigation and the ability to unlock the bikes with a smartphone are among the system’s cutting-edge capabilities.

Once the bike share system is rolling Memphis next spring, the Operations Manager will create logistical strategies to ensure an evenly balanced, easy-to-use system of bikes with streamlined customer service and maintenance protocols.

To learn more about Explore Bike Share’s Operations Manager position and view its job description, visit explorebikeshare.com/join-us. Interested applicants may submit their resume to info@explorebikeshare.com. Applications will be accepted through Wednesday, November 22.


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Explore Bike Share, the 600-bike system launching here in the spring is looking for permanent headquarters, as well as a temporary warehouse in the city.

Slated to be occupied for two or three months beginning in February, the temporary warehouse will serve as a bike and station build-out space in preparation for the initiative's launching.

For the warehouse, the nonprofit is seeking a 20,000-square-foot space that is climate controlled and equipped with ample electricity and lighting, sufficient internet and cell services, a ground-floor entrance and bay door, space for bike workstations, and dumpster rental services.

The permanent headquarters, which will be occupied beginning in January, will house a maintenance shop with a full-time staff.

For this, Explore Bike Share is seeking a 6,000-square-foot space within one of the neighborhoods where the program is initially launching: Binghampton, Orange Mound, Midtown, Downtown, Uptown, and South Memphis.

Other specifications for the space include:

6,000 square feet minimum Central location within Explore Bike Share initial service area Ground-floor entrance with bay door Overnight parking for 2 vans Climate-controlled office space with conference room for 7 full-time employees Climate-controlled maintenance shop space with four work stations, preferably connected to office but able to segregate Space expansion opportunities Space for battery charging station Real estate proposals can be sent to info@explorebikeshare.com though Friday, Nov. 3.

“Explore Bike Share has valued and prioritized transparency through all aspects of its journey, and this part of the process is no different,” Explore Bike Share board secretary, John Paul Shaffer said. “There is immense potential for activating spaces to build, operate, and maintain Memphis’ incoming fleet of bikes, and we want to make sure that everyone has the chance to share and seize the opportunity.”

Explore Bike Share is also in the process of interviewing candidates for its executive director. The selected director is expected to be announced sometime in November.

“The quality of responses to our call for an executive director has been overwhelming,” lead of the Explore Bike Share board hiring committee, Jaske Goff said. “We are confident that, among the pool of qualified candidates, we will hire a leader who will launch and cement Explore Bike Share as an equitable and easy-to-use transit option for Memphians.”

The bike-share system will launch here in the spring with 600 bikes, and in 2019 an additional 900 bikes will be added to the fleet.


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In anticipation of its roll out next spring, Explore Bike Share is in the search for a permanent headquarters and a temporary warehouse to construct its 600-bike fleet.

For its permanent headquarters, the nonprofit bike-share initiative is seeking a minimum of 6,000 square feet with expansion opportunities and room for two overnight vans, a maintenance shop and a battery-charging station. It wants the facility to be within its initial service area, which includes Midtown, Downtown, Uptown, South Memphis, Binghampton and Orange Mound.

Meanwhile, Explore Bike Share also is looking for a warehouse with a minimum of 20,000 square feet to occupy for two to three months beginning Feb. 1.

“Explore Bike Share has valued and prioritized transparency through all aspects of its journey, and this part of the process is no different,” said John Paul Shaffer, Explore Bike Share board secretary and executive director of BLDG Memphis. “There is immense potential for activating spaces to build, operate and maintain Memphis’ incoming fleet of bikes, and we want to make sure that everyone has the chance to share and seize the opportunity.”

Proposals can be sent to info@explorebikeshare.com by Friday, Nov. 3.


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Explore Bike Share, a local 501(c)3 that will implement a robust 600-bike bike share system in Memphis next Spring, has officially begun its search for temporary warehousing space and permanent headquarters.

“Explore Bike Share has valued and prioritized transparency through all aspects of its journey, and this part of the process is no different,” says John Paul Shaffer, Explore Bike Share board secretary and Executive Director of BLDG Memphis. “There is immense potential for activating spaces to build, operate, and maintain Memphis’ incoming fleet of bikes, and we want to make sure that everyone has the chance to share and seize the opportunity.”

The temporary warehouse will be occupied by Explore Bike Share beginning February 1, 2018 for a 2-3-month bike and station build-out period. Specifications are as follows:

Temporary Warehouse requirements:

20,000 square feet minimum Ground-floor entrance with bay door Space for mobile bike work stations Sufficient internet and cell connection services Dumpster rental (for recycling and garbage) Climate-controlled with ample electricity and lighting Explore Bike Share’s permanent headquarters, which will host a full-time staff and maintenance shop, will be occupied beginning in January 2018. The headquarters should live within Explore Bike Share’s initial service area, which spans from Binghampton and Orange Mound through Midtown and Downtown, as well as South Memphis and Uptown neighborhoods. Specifications are as follows:

Permanent Headquarters requirements:

6,000 square feet minimum Central location within Explore Bike Share initial service area Ground-floor entrance with bay door Overnight parking for 2 vans Climate-controlled office space with conference room for 7 full-time employees Climate-controlled maintenance shop space with four work stations, preferably connected to office but able to segregate Space expansion opportunities Space for battery charging station Real estate opportunities should be submitted to info@explorebikeshare.com by Friday, November 3.

Explore Bike Share has signed a contract with selected vendor and manufacturing partner B-Cycle for the 600-bike system. The organization is currently interviewing candidates for Executive Director with an expectation to announce the new hire in November.

“The quality of responses to our call for an Executive Director has been overwhelming,” says Jaske Goff, Explore Bike Share board hiring committee lead and Vice President of Operations at the DMC. “We are confident that, among the pool of qualified candidates, we will hire a leader who will launch and cement Explore Bike Share as an equitable and easy-to-use transit option for Memphians.”

 

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SARIS PARKING

In the first installment in our series on highlighting the growing impact and popularity of bike sharing systems, Sara Studdard from Explore Bike Share kicks things off detailing how their new system is created to tackle head-on the mobility challenges of Memphis.

  1. WHAT IS EXPLORE BIKE SHARE?

Explore Bike Share is a 501(c)(3) organization working to implement a bike share system in Memphis with approximately 600 bikes and 60 stations. In 2019, the system will grow to 900 bikes and 90 stations. Stations will be located in high-density areas like Downtown and Midtown as well as South Memphis, Orange Mound, and Binghampton.

Once launched, bike share will have bikes on the ground throughout Memphis, making trips to bus stops, parks, greenlines, schools, museums, events, and grocery stores shorter than walking or taking public transit. Bikes will also be available as a world-class amenity for 11 million annual worldwide tourists and visitors.

  1. WHAT MAKES THE BIKE SHARE PROGRAM IN MEMPHIS UNIQUE?

Our program is unique because Explore Bike Share is built by Memphians, for Memphians.

EBS didn't start as an organization launching a bike share. We started as community members interested in finding out if bike share was right for our city. We took a year between summer 2015 - summer 2016 to have conversations with community members about what bike share was, and if it made sense for Memphis.

We made the intentional decision not to reach out to early adopters or "traditional" bike share users. We knew that group would be champions, no matter when we got their ear. We wanted to talk to individuals and neighborhoods that weren’t currently identifying themselves as part of our emerging bike culture, had opportunities to increase transportation and health/wellness options. So we did just that, we hosted informal and formal events, intercept surveys, group rides, you name it – all to get to know our neighbors better and hear their thoughts on bike share.

Memphis enthusiastically communicated to our group that YES, bike share was a good fit for Memphis and now was the time to launch. That YES from the community got the ball rolling on fund development, researching different systems and technologies, organizational structure and developing the mission/vision for the organization.

All decisions have been vetted and made with community members leading the charge. Explore Bike Share would not exist without Memphians.

  1. WHAT HAS BEEN THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE DURING THE IMPLEMENTATION PROCESS?

We don’t know yet!

We are about to launch our public site planning process and I greatly look forward to learning more from Memphians about where and how they want to use bike share. I do know that we have a challenge to educate more residents about what bike share is, and why they should consider it for transportation or fun. Our challenge is how to explain something that doesn’t exist in Memphis, and that many people haven’t experienced themselves.

  1. WHAT HAS BEEN THE MOST REWARDING?

Professionally: being part of a project that not only will bring a capital asset, but a world-class service/amenity to our visitors and residents.

Personally: every day I talk to at least one person who teaches me something new, challenges the way I think, and contributes to my love for this city and the power people have to make change.

  1. ANY INSIDER ADVICE TO PASS ALONG TO OTHER CITIES THINKING ABOUT BIKE SHARE?

Your city, no matter the size deserves an excellent system. If that means a longer timeline on raising funds or finding the right vendor - take it.

Listen to your residents. Be humble and open with what you hear and use residents perspectives to shape bike share for your city.

Share with residents of your city what bike share is (we use "pay, pick up, pedal, put up"…who doesn’t love alliteration?!) and let them decide which benefits and challenges they see. Don’t prescribe what bike share can mean for your community. Let everyone discover that together.

Talk to other cities that have launched or are also thinking about launching a bike share. There are some super smart, passionate folks in the industry. Listen to them, too!

Bottom line: listen, listen, listen and have fun. Biking brings joy; relish in it.


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In six months, public transportation in Memphis will become more accessible and equitable than ever.

Explore Bike Share will begin rolling on the streets of Memphis next spring with 600 short-term rental bikes.

The new bicycle sharing system will allow residents and visitors to get from point A to B — and maybe even to point C and back — while breathing fresh air, getting some exercise, and taking in sights along the way.

This bike share system can transform the way our city functions.

It will complement and enhance the city's award-winning biking infrastructure — bike lanes, shared-use paths, bike racks and so on.

It also will improve connections in and between underserved areas where people live and work, shop, play, and visit.

The bike sharing system will serve high-density areas and neighborhoods such as Downtown, Midtown and the Crosstown area.

Just as importantly, though, the system will serve Orange Mound and Binghamton, as well as South Memphis and Uptown.

The 60 stations will cash and credit card payment options, and coordinate some stations with public transit routes. And we've gotten a $2.2 million federal grant to add more stations and 300 bikes in 2019.

The B-Cycle bikes will be equipped with a touch-screen GPS that offers route recommendations and directions.

Blake Hilburn passes into a section of deep woods on the Tour D'Wolf bike path at Shelby Farms while competing in the MOFman mountain biking race Oct. 18, 2015, during the Memphis Outdoor Festival, a weekend of athletic events, live music, craft beer and food trucks to raise support for the trail system at the park. (Photo: Jim Weber / File / The Commercial Appeal)

Explore Bike Share will be able to track the number of rides, most popular routes and destinations, miles accumulated, calories burned, gallons of gas saved, and the demographics of bike-share members and users.

Explore Bike Share is a nonprofit organization formed about two years ago. We have been diligent and intentional in our efforts to create a bike sharing system designed by Memphians for Memphians.

Our next task is to hire an executive director with the passion and background to create and foster an equitable bike share program for the entire community.

The new executive director will have an important but challenging job — managing people and projects, operations and development, and launching and sustaining a new program that is community-minded and committed to our mission.

The application deadline is Friday. Visit explorebikeshare.com.

Bike sharing is a revolution on two wheels, and we are looking for a revolutionary.

Jaske Goff is chief operating officer of the Downtown Memphis Commission and a board member for Explore Bike Share.