YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — An Ohio family is introducing a new way to travel through their hometown. And it’s pedal-powered.
What You Need To Know
- YoGo Bikeshare plans to provide 30 bikes for short-term rental in downtown Youngstown
- Four docking stations will be available to return and recharge the bikes
- The business is expected to launch in March 2023
YoGo Bikeshare is expected to launch in March 2023. Ronnell Elkins said it’s the first bike-sharing business in Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley.
“We’ve been always looked at as kind of a steel town,” Elkins said. “Not saying that we’re gonna change the outlook of the city by just bikes, but it gives people in our community an opportunity to see something different. Versus what they’re used to or they’re used to hearing about Youngstown, Ohio”
Elkins is president of the family-owned business whose team members include his dad and two brothers. His brother Kent Wallace II is the vice president of operations.
“I used to ride to different sides of town on my bike, so it’s something that kind of resonated with me deeply,” Wallace said.
Elkins said there are a few bike riding groups in town, but overall, there aren’t a lot of cyclists in the city.
“We’re excited to do our part in bringing the city together via bikes,” he said.
A fleet of 30 YoGo bikes will be available to use starting in the spring, with docking stations in four downtown locations.
“We kind of felt like there was a need and an opportunity for us to be able to provide that alternative mode of transportation,” Wallace said.
Wallace said the bikes are 70% electric, so there’s a little extra pep when you pedal, making them easier to use for a wide range of riders.
“Youngstown’s pretty hilly, so we wanted to make sure that they had the opportunity to go up hills and stuff and ride the bikes,” Elkins said.
And in areas without dedicated bike lanes, Elkins said they’re working on educating both drivers and bicyclists about rules of the road.
“Like motorcycles, it’s a share the road mentality, right?” Elkins said. “So, it’s important for us to start changing the psychology of people’s minds around bike safety.”
He said the bikes are meant to be shared and used for a short time of 30 minutes or less, then docked to give others the chance to ride. Having the bikes available will offer more options for quick commutes.
“It’s that freedom of getting around,” Elkins said. “You know, being able to relive your childhood in certain ways.”
When the program launches in the spring, YoGo bikes will be available to rent via an app. Wallace said they’re planning to have single use, daily use and annual subscription options for riders to choose from. He said they’re planning to offer the annual subscription for $90 a year for unlimited 30-minute rides.
Riders will need to supply their own helmets.