MoGo, Metro Detroit’s bikeshare system, has consistently been the best and most reliable transit option for Jeremy Rosenberg.
As someone living in the Motor City without a car, I’ve used my fair share of public transit. I’ve taken a DDOT from Midtown to the northeast side of Detroit, taken a SMART Bus from the Fisher Building all the way to Maple and Orchard Lake in West Bloomfield; I’ve used the Q-Line, People Mover, ZipCar — the list goes on.
But MoGo, Metro Detroit’s bikeshare system, has consistently been the best and most reliable transit option. It’s been my primary method of transportation since I moved to the city in 2017.
If you don’t know what MoGo is, or don’t know what bikeshare is, here it is in the simplest terms: It’s a bunch of bikes at racks stationed around Detroit and southern Oakland County that you can rent to ride 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
When MoGo launched in May of 2017, there were 43 stations and 430 bikes in 10 neighborhoods, stretching north to south from New Center to the Riverfront, and east to west from West Village to Mexicantown. Since then, they’ve added a seasonal station along the Dequindre Cut near Eastern Market, and 50 “Boost” bikes, which are pedal-assist e-bikes.
Since moving to Detroit, I’ve lived on campus at Wayne State, in Woodbridge and now Downtown. In each of those places, I’ve had a MoGo station within two minutes of my building. I’ve used MoGo to ride to class in the morning, down to the Riverfront for lunch and home from a Tigers game late at night.
Earlier this summer, despite the ongoing pandemic, MoGo expanded its service area to include Northwest Detroit, Ferndale, Royal Oak, Oak Park, Berkley and Huntington Woods. Now with 75 stations and more than 600 bikes, MoGo is bridging parts of the transit gap between the city and the suburbs.
Over the summer, especially given the freedom of working from home, I would take an hour or two and bike, usually on one of the e-bikes, from Grand Circus Park to Palmer Park or the Avenue of Fashion. There were a few times where I even took an early-morning ride to the Oak Park Farmers Market, riding along Dexter and passing the old B’nai Moshe building and the former Beth Shmuel Synagogue (for those who’d like to reminisce).
In just the past few months, I’ve spent more time in each of MoGo’s expansion cities than I had previously. Traveling by bike, and therefore not worrying about parking, gives you a surprising amount of freedom to find what each of these cities has to offer.
According to their website, “MoGo is a Detroit-based nonprofit organization that strives to serve a wide range of people and needs. Whether by offering affordable pass and payment options, providing innovative programming that promotes health, safety and connectivity, or forming partnerships with other organizations to reduce barriers to biking, MoGo is focused on getting people where they need to go in a convenient, affordable and fun way.”
In my experience, all the above is true: MoGo constantly makes efforts to make biking inclusive and accessible to all. Their adaptive program, which offers 13 different types of bikes, makes bike-riding more available and accessible to riders with all types of needs. MoGo’s Access Pass, which is a $5 annual membership (usually $90), is available to any registered members of various state benefits programs.
One of the best parts of being a MoGo member is also having access to their Rider Perks program, which encourages members to get off their bikes occasionally to shop at and support local businesses. Currently, MoGo has partnered with businesses like Avalon, Moosejaw, Slows Bar BQ, and more, to offer MoGo members percentages off their purchases, along with other deals. The expansion to the suburbs means that more businesses should be joining the Rider Perks program too, which is incredibly exciting.
I should add that you don’t need to have a membership to ride. MoGo has two casual pass options, each of which are modeled for those who’d like to ride from place to place, or for those who’d like to bike for a couple of hours and be done.
Wherever you plan to bike, I’d recommend taking a MoGo. Whether you’re looking for an afternoon along the Riverfront, a ride through Palmer Park or a quiet ride through the suburbs, MoGo is the best option you’ve got!
Find more information on mogodetroit.org.
Jeremy Rosenberg is a recent graduate of Wayne State University and MoGo’s Marketing Assistant.