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Detroit Bike Share program, MoGo, launches in May

Jennifer Chambers
The Detroit News

Detroit — The city’s first public bike share program will hit the streets in May, placing 430 bikes at 43 kiosk stations across the downtown business district.

Named MoGo, in a nod to Detroit’s Motown roots, the bike share program is geared toward riders of all types, from those who want to grab a bike for transit to a business meeting across town to those in the mood for a leisurely ride along the riverfront.

Lisa Nuszkowski, executive director of the nonprofit Detroit Bike Share, spoke Wednesday at a debut for the bikes and the program at a warehouse in Detroit’s Milwaukee Junction neighborhood.

Nuszkowski said her company thought about the city’s future in mobility and wanted to expand the city’s reputation as the Motor City.

“We want to move people around the city more efficiently,” Nuszkowski said. “We wanted to pay homage to our roots as Motown but also point to our future in mobility. That’s how we got to MoGo. ...We are putting people on bikes to get across the city.”

A website, www.mogodetroit.org, and cellphone app will provide bike station locations and information on how to rent up to four bikes, with a credit card, for unlimited 30-minute trips, which start at a daily pass of $8 for 24 hours and run up to $80 for an annual pass.

Dan Dirks, director of the city’s transportation division, said bike shares are an invaluable addition to public transit in cities across the nation. Detroit has become “much more bike friendly” than it was three or four years ago, Dirks said.

Most of the city’s major roads have bike lines, Dirks said, and all DDOT buses have bike carriers for riders.

“This is another piece of the mobility toolkit that we are hoping to do for Detroiters, the folks that work here, the folks that live here. It’s an awesome and a good thing,” Dirks said.

“This is not just a downtown-Midtown project. It’s going to stretch east to English Village, to Clark Park, this is truly a Detroit thing. It’s trying to make the city much more mobile so people have different options.”

The bikes, a red-orange color with black seats, cost $1,200 each and are made in New York, said Mike Autullo, hardware and support for PBSC, which supplies the bikes.

Described as casual cruisers, each bike has relaxed handlebars with a basket and lights in front, with plastic protected fenders to avoid dirty pant legs.

“These are one of the nicest bikes of all ride share bikes. The bikes are rugged and sturdy. ... They are quality bikes,” Autullo said.

Bob Riney, executive vice president and COO with Henry Ford Health Systems, which along with HAP sponsors the bike share program, said he imagines a downtown filled with residents riding bikes all throughout the city from one venue to another while becoming healthier.

“It’s really part of the secret sauce that is making our city incredibly transformative,” Riney said.

Zak Pashak, owner of Detroit Bikes, which sells bikes and provides bikes for rental fleets for businesses, said Detroit needs to build more infrastructure, such as protected bike lanes with stanchions or medians, before it is truly bike friendly.

“Bike shares are the start of that. It’s a nice progression, the city pays attention and you see an increase in bike lanes,” Pashak said. “It’s a great start.”

JChambers@detroitnews.com

MoGo pass options

Daily Pass runs $8 per day and includes unlimited 30-minute trips for 24 hours.

Monthly Pass costs $18 per month and riders receive unlimited 30-minute trips for the entire month.

Annual Pass costs $80 gives riders option to pay $80 up front or $8 per month, and offers unlimited 30-minute trips for the full year. A special discount is available for people 65 years and older.

The Access Pass, for qualifying riders including those with disabilities, costs $5 for the year and offers 30 minute unlimited rides.

The Founders Pass includes an Annual Pass, plus limited-edition MoGo gear and other benefits for $100.

Source: MoGo/Detroit Bike Share