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MoGo cruises through its first summer in Detroit

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Photo by Michelle & Chris Gerard

Detroit’s first public bike share, MoGo, launched this May with 43 stations from southwest to West Village, New Center to the Riverfront. How has the new option for transportation fared in the Motor City? We recently chatted with Lisa Nuszkowski, Founder and Executive Director of MoGo, about ridership, messaging, and adding transit options in Detroit.

Nuszkowski says that messaging has been important in these first few months, as riders get used to having this new option in Detroit. It’s not a bike rental, but another mode of transportation to get to one place to the next—especially for distances three miles or less. She says that as time has passed, the average trip time has gone down, meaning more people are using it to get from point A to point B and not just for a leisurely ride around the city.

The most popular station locations are unsurprisingly near dedicated bike paths. Nuszkowski says that stations in Eastern Market, and near the Dequindre Cut and the Riverfront have been the most popular. The stations near the Municipal Center downtown and Grand Circus Park have also been popular. She expects more usage out of stations around Midtown as Wayne State students return to classes and start trying out the bikes.

Nuszkowski says they’ve seen a lot of diversity in the riders and they’re starting to collect more demographic information to track that. Those who sign up for passes online can give out that information, and they’ll also be doing a survey of riders. MoGo offers daily, monthly, and annual passes, plus a $5 Access Pass for those who qualify.

As people start to use it more, there have been conversations in other parts of the city about adding more stations. In order to do that, they’ll need to raise more funding, but there is a potential for expansion in the future.

As winter approaches, Nuszkowski stresses that MoGo is an option every day of the year and that transportation needs don’t stop when the weather gets bad. In the greater conversation of transit in Detroit, she’s happy they’re offering another mode for people to get around. “Instead of getting in a car,” she says, “Consider biking. MoGo is a healthy choice and gives people a chance to interact with their surroundings and city. And they don’t have to look for a parking space.”

In short, it’s reframing how we think about getting around the city.

MoGo will be free to ride on October 1 during Open Streets Detroit, which is also part of the Downtown Detroit Partnership.