By now you’re surely aware that Explore Bike Share launched with much fanfare this passed Wednesday morning. Nearly 300 individuals took part in the launch festivities, which included a massive group ride from the EBS warehouse in Uptown to Court Square. From there, volunteers broke into smaller groups that rode the bicycles to each of the EBS stations.
Memphis is now home to one of the most state-of-the-art and one of the most equitable bike share systems in the country. Sixty stations and 600 bicycles are scattered around Downtown, South Memphis, Midtown, and Orange Mound. Next year the system will grow by 50% thanks to a Federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality grant. Those 30 additional stations will be used to both double down on the existing service area and expand into new neighborhoods.
As a public resource, bike share will play a key role in the City’s network of bicycle infrastructure and facilities. As such, today we’re releasing a new map of the City’s bicycle network that focuses on the core neighborhoods composing EBS’ service area, and, most importantly, includes icons for the bike share stations.
Bike share and bike lanes exist in a symbiotic relationship. In order for bike share to reach its full potential in Memphis, people need to feel safe riding a bike on our streets. Likewise, by lowering the barriers to accessing a bicycle, bike share will put more people on bikes. The more that Memphians see bike lanes utilized, and by people like them, the more that bike lanes become perceived as basic transportation infrastructure.
In short, if you support safe streets for all users, you should support bike share. If you support bike share, you should support bike lanes and other traffic calming measures that improve the safety of our streets.
To purchase an Explore Bike Share membership or learn more about it, go to: www.ExploreBikeShare.com.