Daily Detroit stopped by the New Center today for the launch of the new MoGo Detroit bike sharing system. It opens with 43 bikes and 430 stations spread across a wide swath of the city, from Clark Park in southwest Detroit, to the New Center, out to West Village on the east side.
One of us got to ride a MoGo bike back to one of the downtown stations. The three-speed bikes are sturdy, built to take a beating and have a remarkably smooth ride.
Seeing as how Detroiters are still trying to wrap their heads around QLine, the new streetcar that launched earlier this month, we thought we’d offer this handy user’s guide for whether MoGo is right for you.
If you live in the 7.2: Got your own bike? Then MoGo may have limited appeal or functionality for you. Unless a friend comes to town. Or a relative. Or you’re out on the town sans wheels, and you need to go somewhere else. The nice thing about bike sharing is, you don’t have to commit to it — until you want to commit to it. In that way, it’s like the ultimate friend with benefits.
If you live in other neighborhoods: Admittedly, MoGo’s coverage of Detroit’s neighborhoods is fairly limited from the opening bike bell. But MoGo officials make it clear that they want to expand the system outward to cover more neighborhoods.
That will obviously depend on demand for the service and healthy ridership. And it is probably unrealistic to expect that MoGo will one day blanket all of the city’s 139 square miles, from Brightmoor to East English Village.
If you’re a tourist:
We have a feeling that it’s this group — well-traveled visitors from cities where bike sharing is already well-established, understood and integrated with public transit — that will be among the system’s most enthusiastic early adopters. Because if you’re coming to town for, say, the Movement electronic music festival, and you want to explore, or get away from the crowds, or go eat tacos in Southwest Detroit, then MoGo is your friend.
If you’re an office worker:
Poor thing. Vibes ~~~~~~~~
But seriously: Want to go lunch but it’s too far to walk? Don’t feel like driving? Have a meeting uptown? Need to grab some groceries from Eastern Market’s Tuesday market? You see where we’re going with this?
If you’re a suburbanite:
Why not? Beats strapping your bike to the back of the car if you don’t have a permanent bike rack attached.
If you’re a QLINE rider:
According to the map we first-reported, MoGo stations are located as far east as West Village and west as Clark Park. That’s a nice bit of extra real estate you can reach from the Woodward corridor.
Do I need spandex?
Bike sharing isn’t something that requires you to don spandex and a helmet and travel at speeds attainable only by people who spend their weekends hunched over their handlebars furiously pedaling remote country roads.
It’s meant to be a “last mile” solution, something that takes 30 minutes or less and gets you from point A to point B and back again.
And Detroit, in many ways, is a city best experienced by bike.
So if you’re leaving the DIA and want to go to dinner but don’t feel like fighting for a new parking space? Hop on a MoGo bike instead.
How much does it cost? How you’re charged for this thing is a little confusing, but here’s how it works.
Prices assume you’ll have the bike out for no more than 30 minutes and start out at $8 for a daily pass, which offers an unlimited number of 30-minute trips over 24 hours. Remember that unlike a rental car, you don’t have to return a MoGo bike to the station where you checked it out.
Monthly passes are just $18, while annual passes are $80, with discounts available for seniors over age 65 and qualifying low-income users.
A pair of mobile apps are also available to purchase passes or view inventories of available bikes at your local stations. https://mogodetroit.org/get-the-apps/
Pro tip: Don’t leave the bike anywhere but securely locked at a MoGo station. Printed on the handlebars of each bike is a notice that the fee for stolen or missing bikes is $1,200. Ouch!