MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Memphis has another easy, affordable way to get around town. My City Rides scooters could be the solution to your transportation troubles.
My City Rides scooters cost $90 a month to lease--just $3 a day, and filling up the gas tank only costs about $3. Lease for three years, and the scooter is yours.
College student Khalil Castal and eye doctor Will McGriff are among the first to lease My City Rides scooters.
"Uber and Lyft are good," said Castal, "but for the pocketbook, not so much. I've had my scooter for two months. I love it every day. I get to explore all of Memphis."
"I ride mine every day to work," said McGriff, "and I've already determined I save $30 a month on gas. My first fill-up was $3.08 and that lasted for two weeks!"
My City Rides executive director showed WMC Action News 5 all the features of the scooters, like lots of handy storage areas for groceries, a laptop, even a load of laundry. The scooters can go up to 65 mph, though it's not recommended you ride them on the interstate. Nix said the lease to own program includes license prep, insurance, safety equipment, helmet, armor jacket, maintenance, and locks--everything you need to get where you're going.
"All of that," said Nix, "for $3 a day or $90 a month. It's a 36-month lease-to-own program. At the end of 36 months, flyers--the people in the program--own the scooter."
You take a four-hour safety course taught by an off-duty Memphis police officer. You go through six hours of practice rides in a parking lot near the My City Rides school, and then you go the DMV to get your new license--the same one required for motorcycle riders.
Khalil, who'd never even ridden a bicycle as a child, says the My City Rides staff helped him get to the DMV and were there every step of the way for him. He uses his chocolate brown scooter to get around the University of Memphis campus, and to go visit his mom in Horn Lake, Mississippi. He admits she was nervous about him riding a scooter, until she actually saw him in action.
"First weekend I drove home," he said, "my mom walked outside of the house and said 'you can be with me on weekends? I like the bike. Keep the bike!' And I was like, OK, mom."
Dr. McGriff commutes to and from the Southern College of Optometry on his ice blue scooter.
"It feels so much different than riding in a car," he said, "and it's a lot more freeing. You feel like you see a lot more of the city when you're not in your bubble of a car."
Forty-five scooters are already on the road. The company hopes to make it 100 by year's end.
"Transportation is complicated," said Nix, "and this is one more way to simplify it. The scooters are a very effective, efficient means of transportation, and they're fun!"
My City Rides is a non-profit that opened up in the spring. Classes are taught over on Cleveland near Crosstown Concourse. If you are interested in learning more about the scooter lease to own program or in signing up, click here.