Explore Bike Share opens search for Community Engagement & Marketing Director

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.

Getting 'round the mound: Residents advocate for transportation options in Orange Mound

ERICA HORTON | HIGH GROUND NEWS

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.”

Explore Bike Share Seeking Operations Manager

PATRICK LANTRIP | MEMPHIS DAILY NEWS

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.

Explore Bike Share Opens Search for Operations Manager

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.

Explore Bike Share Looks for Permanent Headquarters

MAYA SMITH | MEMPHIS FLYER

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.

 

Explore Bike Share Seeks Permanent Headquarters

PATRICK LANTRIP | MEMPHIS DAILY NEWS

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.

Explore Bike Share Begins Search For Warehouse and Permanent Headquarters

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.” 

Birth of a Bike Share: Memphis

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. 

2. 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. 

3. 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. 

4. 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. 

5. 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. 

Bike sharing will boost city, public transportation

JAY GOFF | THE COMMERCIAL APPEAL

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.

Bike Share Program Seeks Director

MAYA SMITH | MEMPHIS FLYER

As Explore Bike Share (EBS), the bike share system bringing 600 bikes to the city in the spring, is getting off of the ground, its board of directors are looking for an executive director to run the program.

The director will be responsible for strategic and operational responsibilities of planning, implementing, and operating the new network of bikes in the city. 

Some of the duties include, overseeing daily operations, fund development, community engagement, managing finances, marketing, and business planning. 

The aim of EBS is to provide equitable access to transit throughout Memphis' central loop. It's set to launch in spring 2018 with approximately 60 bike stations in downtown, Midtown, South Memphis, Orange Mound, and Binghamton.

The board says the executive director will "lead the charge" toward making Memphis' public spaces more accessible to a larger number of people in the city.

Applications will be accepted through Oct. 13. Interested in applying, go here.

Explore Bike Share Seeking Executive Director

PATRICK LANTRIP | MEMPHIS DAILY NEWS

Explore Bike Share, a 600-unit local bike sharing system, has begun the search for an executive director to spearhead the nonprofit’s efforts.

Scheduled to roll out by next spring, Explore Bike Share’s fleet will be the largest in the nation to feature the BCycle Dash navigation system.

“We are seeking an executive director to take on overall strategic and operational responsibility for planning, implementing and operating a new network in Memphis,” Jaske Goff, Explore Bike Share board hiring committee lead and Downtown Memphis Commission vice president of operations, said in a release.

After an exploratory effort by DCA, a creative communications consulting firm, the nonprofit was formally established in early 2016. The system will initially serve high-density areas like Downtown and Midtown, as well as South Memphis, Orange Mound and Binghampton.

Details about Explore Bike Share’s executive director position can be found at explorebikeshare.com/join-us, and applicants can submit resumes to info@explorebikeshare.com before Oct. 13.

Explore Bike Share Begins National Search For Executive Director

Explore Bike Share, a local 501(c)3 with a mission to implement a robust and inclusive 600-bike bike share system in Memphis, has officially begun its executive director national job search. 

“We are ready to build out this operation in anticipation of our Spring 2018 rollout,” said Jaske Goff, Explore Bike Share Board hiring committee lead and Downtown Memphis Commission’s Vice President of Operations. “We are seeking an Executive Director to take on overall strategic and operational responsibility for planning, implementing, and operating a new network in Memphis.”

Scheduled to hit the streets by spring next year, Explore Bike Share has signed its contract with BCycle, Explore Bike Share’s system manufacturer. Memphis will introduce the largest bike share system of its kind in the nation with BCycle’s Dash system, representing the cutting edge of new bike share technology and accessibility. 

“Whether used for recreation, errands, commutes, or getting to bus routes, bike share is the accessible connector that gets people where they want to go,” said Suzanne Carlson, Explore Bike Share Board Vice Chair and Innovate Memphis Project Manager.  “It’s going the next big thing in Memphis, and we are excited for our Executive Director to lead the charge.” 

In line with its mission to equitably engage all Memphians and tourists—for transportation, health or cultural leisure—Explore Bike Share has proposed a robust service area to reach high-density areas of Downtown and Midtown, as well as South Memphis, Orange Mound and Binghampton.

Explore Bike Share has been nationally recognized for building a grassroots, community-driven system, serving as a model for the bike share and larger transportation industries. This past year, the nonprofit has been invited to speak on transportation and equity panels in Philadelphia and Montreal, Canada. 

The nonprofit was formally established in early 2016 with an initial board of directors after a year-long exploration effort by DCA, a creative communications consulting firm. Explore Bike Share’s official launch will illustrate a powerful unity of community partners, private donors, City of Memphis support, and founding members from Memphis’ 20+ zip codes, established over the last two years.

To learn more about Explore Bike Share’s Executive Director 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 October 13.