Today Explore Bike Share has announced its contract agreement with B-Cycle to bring a 600-bike system to Memphis by Spring 2018.
Explore Bike Share launched in 2015 seeking to get community input and gather information on the possibility of creating a bike share program in Memphis. Now that program, after hearing from many throughout Memphis from various neighborhoods is announcing its progression from idea to reality. It will operate as a 501(c)3 nonprofit and plans further expansion in 2019. This news comes as Memphis continues to be recognized as an up-and-coming city to explore by bike.
As a part of the launch, the new BCycle Dash smart bikes will have cutting edge technology built in. That technology will allow riders to follow easy instructions powered by a touch screen GPS system. The fleet in Memphis will be the largest in the nation upon its launch.
“Unlike any other bike share system, the community is truly coming together to make this a reality,” said Suzanne Carlson, Explore Bike Share Vice Chair and Innovate Memphis’ Transportation and Mobility Project Manager. “We encourage all sectors to step up to support Explore Bike Share’s sustainable and robust launch.”
The BCycle Dash smart bikes include the following features:
- A color touchscreen display
- Integrated locking package and onboard GPS with turn-by-turn directions
- Best-in-class geometry and bike build
- Four methods of access/payment
- Touch screen code
- Smart phone scan
- Bike share membership card
- RFID cards (i.e. student ID cards, employee access badges)
- 8 speeds
- Automatic lights
Explore Bike Share will introduce the industry’s first and largest BCycle Dash system, with 60 stations and 600 bikes (and a 30-station and 300-bike expansion in 2019). You can expect to learn more this summer when Explore Bike Share will host a number of opportunities for community members to engage with the program in Q & A sessions. More specific details to come.
Explore Bike Share’s system addresses the needs of ridership in low-income neighborhoods, using best practices and research. This includes:
- Strategically placed station siting
- Accessibility to public transit
- Cash payment methods to provide riders with flexible and convenient payment
Explore Bike share will seek partnerships with businesses and organizations that value bike share as a tool to further their missions and connect with target audiences. Current partnerships include:
- Carpenter Art Garden – group rides, workforce development, bike education and safety
- City of Memphis, Bike/Ped Program Manager – bike education and safety, infrastructure, siting process
- Community LIFT – civic investment, siting
- The Works, CDC – workforce development, bike education, healthy food access
- Livable Memphis – urban planning, placemaking, bike education and programming
- Innovate Memphis – transportation and shared mobility
- Mid-South Greenprint – fitness access, environmental advocacy
- Memphis Medical Center – health advocacy, group rides, siting
- Revolutions Bicycle Co-op – family group rides, bike education and safety
- Downtown Memphis Commission – siting process and community engagement
- Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau – siting process
Explore Bike Share will also curate routes for tourists and Memphians to highlight community assets. Some of these routes include:
- A music route: to take riders on a bike tour through music-focused museums and spaces while also pointing out relevant public art, historical landmarks, and other points of interest.
- A food access route to take riders along a path to access a farmers market, grocery store, and other errands.
- An exercise route to highlight loops and paths with guidance on how many miles traveled and calories burned, and provide other suggestions on how to add to riders’ workout.
- A heritage trail to highlight a collection of historically significant, Memphis-specific African-American stories that have shaped local and regional culture.