Explore Bike Share bicycle rental stations launching soon with more on the way in 2019

Locations around the city for the first 60 bike stations of the Explore Bike Share program have been announced, and the nonprofit has plans to add more stations and bikes in 2019 and 2020. The 600-rental bike system, which spans from Downtown, South Memphis, and Cooper-Young to Orange Mound, Overton Square, and Crosstown, is moving towards a launch later this spring.

“The most exciting piece about these station locations is that they were driven by Memphis residents over the last three years,” said Sara Studdard, Explore Bike Share community engagement and marketing director.

To determine the best locations to install rentable bike stations, Explore Bike Share hosted ongoing neighborhood engagements as well as an online effort. Residents submitted more than 3,500 "pins", which designated where in Memphis they most desired bike share stations. 

Related: "Bike share program will connect South Memphis, Orange Mound & Binghampton"

“At one point we had the same amount of pins, or people wanting stations, at Crosstown Concourse in the Crosstown neighborhood and at Knowledge Quest in South Memphis, and I think that’s a really great testament that all of Memphis is really exciting and excited to have a bike share in their neighborhood,” said Studdard.

The Memphis Dash bike system is the first of its kind in the U.S. Bikes are fueled by solar power with forward-facing touchscreens, including technology that can capture data related to miles ridden, calories burned, and popular routes. Other cities adopting Dash bikes later this year include Jackson Hole, Wyoming; Tulsa, Oklahoma; and Colorado Springs, Colorado. When installed, the Memphis system will be the largest Dash bike share system.

The size of the stations will be specific to their locations, with Crosstown and the South Memphis Farmer’s Market having more bikes and some neighborhood stations having fewer.

“The beauty of these stations is they’re all modular, so we’ll be able to watch the system and if stations are really highly utilized we’ll be able to add onto that station,” said Studdard. “We can also easily relocate a station due to resident feed

Rides will cost $5 for a single ride, $12 for a weekly membership, $15 for a monthly membership and $120 for an annual membership. Weekly, monthly and annual memberships offer users unlimited 60-minute rides from one station to another. If more than 60 minutes pass before the user docks their bike at a station, overtime usage fees will apply.

Twenty stations will have payment kiosks, and users will also be able to pay for bike rides and memberships through a mobile app.

Locations were determined based on multiple criteria, including solar power accessibility, density, proximity to other transit options, neighborhood usage, and ongoing community engagement efforts.

Explore Bike Share was awarded CMA grant from TDOT and the federal government that will fund an expansion next two years to 900 bikes and 90 stations overall. Future expansions will include the Shelby Farms Greenline, the University of Memphis area and Highland Strip as well as more of North Memphis.

A full list of upcoming bike share locations can be found here. 

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Michael Waddell is a native Memphian who returned to Memphis several years ago after working for nearly a decade in San Diego and St. Petersburg, Fla., as a writer, editor and graphic designer. His work over the past few years has been featured in The Memphis Daily News, Memphis Bioworks Magazine, Memphis Crossroads, the New York Daily News and the New York Post. Contact Michael.