New bike share program coming to Memphis

(Source: WMC Action News 5)
(Source: WMC Action News 5)
(Source: WMC Action News 5)
(Source: WMC Action News 5)

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A brand-new bicycle sharing program will soon make it easier to bike around the city.

The creators didn't just do it for tourists, as you might expect. They also had you in mind.

In spring 2018, you'll see 600 high tech bikes hitting the streets of Memphis. The brand-new bike share has state-of-the-art bicycles with touchscreens for turn-by-turn GPS guidance.

Local bicyclists said they like the idea.

"I think it would be an awesome idea," said Christopher Rosario, who bikes to work every day. 

Those visiting Memphis said they agreed.

"Sounds fun," said Mike Marino, a tourist visiting from St. Louis. "I'd do it."

But the program isn't just for sightseeing.

"It needed to be a program for all Memphians, at all levels," said Roshun Austin.  

Austin is on the board for non-profit Explore Bike Share that is using grants to partner with the company B-Cycle. 

A map shows the proposed service areas for Bike Share, with many of them in downtown and Midtown, as can be expected.

Perhaps surprisingly, though, there are also locations planned for South Memphis, Orange Mound, and Binghampton. 

"(That's) because it's not just about tourism in cycling, it's about cycling for health," Austin said. "It's about cycling just to do your day-to-day activities."

The group also wants to give those who may not have a car an affordable, easy way to get around. As for people possibly stealing the bikes, well, Explore Bike Share isn't concerned.

"We can find the bike," Austin said. 

GPS positioning can give up any thieves immediately.  Austin said all Memphians should look forward to the new bike share. 

"Well, they have to give it a try," Austin said.  

There's already a plan to use a $2.2 million grant to expand the program to 900 bikes in 2019.

Copyright 2017 WMC Action News 5. All rights reserved.