Can scooters help get more Memphians to work? My City Rides cranks up

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Expect to see more motorized scooters buzzing around Memphis soon — it’s part of a new plan to curb transportation problems people might have getting to work.

My City Rides, a nonprofit, is spearheading the program by partnering with local businesses and offering the scooters for as little as three bucks a day.

"When clients enter our program they get the bike, safety equipment to go along with it, safety training, their license, tag, insurance, required maintenance, as well as the bike for $3 a day, which comes out to about $100 a month, and it’s a three-year program, at the end of which, they own the bike," said Andy Nix, president of My City Rides.

Throughout the program, Nix says, they’re building credit.

It all started with Jay Martin, founder and head of Collierville-based Juice Plus+. He’s committed $3 million to the program.

He founded the Juice Plus+ technical training center with the Boys and Girls Club, a workforce preparedness organization.

“But they were running into some significant challenges because people would graduate the program, get the job and then not be able to get to work," Martin said.

So they looked for a creative solution, partnering with businesses that support the program. The businesses  will then send My City Rides candidates for who would be a good fit for the program.

"If you look just about anywhere else in the world, Europe, Asia, South America, Central America, this is not an unproven concept," Martin said. "They’re incredibly simple to operate. Right had go, left hand stop. This is your throttle, this is your brake.”

My City Rides will be located near the Crosstown Concourse in Midtown.

We talked to Johnny Foster, who lives nearby. He thinks it’s a cool concept.

"Three dollars, can’t beat it, you can get one and ride all day," he said.

There are 25 scooters right now that they expect to roll out in a few months. That is expected to grow to a few hundred.