MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) — A new fleet of scooters featuring seats hit the streets of Memphis Wednesday.
Last week, the company OjO announced it was partnering with the Memphis non-profit Explore Bike Share to bring their seated scooters to the city. Explore Bike Share will manage the fleet in Memphis.
“It’s a new type of scooter. It’s going to be operated differently. We’re the local non-profit organization that knows Memphis really well so we’re going to operate this in a very respectful manner,” Explore Bike Share Executive Director Trey Moore said.
A kickoff event was held at the Crosstown Concourse at 10 a.m. to deploy the 250 scooters. The public was invited to test drive the scooters for free by taking them to their docking stations. Volunteers also got a free annual pass for Explore Bike Share.
The OjO scooters will set up at 30 of the Explore Bike Share rocking stations throughout the downtown and surrounding area.
It costs $1.25 to start a ride and an additional $0.20 for each minute. A $5 charge will be added if the scooter isn’t returned to one of the docking stations.
The scooters go up to 18 mph and are meant to be on the streets and in bike lanes.
Moore said he hopes through the partnership, it will add more accessible and affordable transportation options.
“The mission of Explore Bike Share is to provide accessible, affordable transportation alternatives to the entire city of Memphis. Bikes have done that for a year and a half. We think adding an additional option from the scooter prospective that you can sit down on feel comfortable with on a very stable sturdy product. We think we can expand mobility options for many more Memphians,” he said.
Aside from the seats, the scooters have baskets and bluetooth speakers
“We feel the seated scooter is a much safer alternative to the stand-up typical stick scooter. Additionally, from a rider and safety standpoint we offer audible alerts so for example scooter has speed-control zones,” OjO Electric Vice-President of Partnership & Sales Matt Tolan said.
Memphis is the third city for OjO. The scooters will travel up to 50 miles before a charge runs out but the scooters can’t go beyond the radius.
“How people move and how people travel today is evolving. The younger millennials today, they don’t necessarily want to own a car and why should they? There’s other options out there and I think scooters are just another solution to help people go from point A to point B,” he said.