Detroiters have a new way to roll, thanks to a week-old Motown Mopeds shop on the edge of Eastern Market.
It rents street-legal mopeds that zip along at up to 35 mph and average 100 miles per gallon, according to owner Erin Guillen of Detroit.
"I hope to show residents and visitors the fun one can have on a gas-powered scooter," the 28-year-old entrepreneur posts at her business site.
Guillen has eight 49cc Wolf mopeds from a Florida manufacturer, which rent for $60 (four hours) to $110 (eight hours), plus a $100 security deposit. The single-rider bikes don't require a motorcycle license.
"We are currently accepting reservations through June 12 as we soft-launch the business," Guillen posts. After that, hours extend beyond the current 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday hours and bookings open through Oct. 16.
All eight bikes were booked on her second day of operation, the last Sunday in April.
Guillen has been "hooked" on mopeds since she began riding them at 15 in Manistee. "I no longer had to ride my bicycle up and down enormous hills to get to the beach or a friend's house," she recalls at a Motown Mopeds backstory page.
"Even when I got my first car, I still rode the moped on occasion. The miles per gallon the moped got helped to keep a few bucks in my slim wallet.
"I moved to Detroit in 2018. While living here I've noticed the lack of public transportation options and how dangerous the electric scooters can be. ... Aside from expensive rental bicycles, perilous scooters and ride share services there aren’t many ways to get around. The bus system can be inconsistent and the Q-Line -- enjoy a brief ride up and down Woodward if that's all you’re looking for."
As part of her launch prep, the new merchant says she "studied tons of Florida moped rental sites and was impressed by maybe two or three out of 50. I've worked to curate this website and the booking process to be as transparent and concise as possible."
She's also not shy about defining a market niche with these points of distinction: "Explore the city at your own pace without waiting for germ-filled ride share services. And ... a much safer experience than electric scooters."
Plan a ride:
- Website: motownmopeds.com | Reservations
- Address: 1524 Winder St., between Riopelle and Orleans at the north end of Eastern Market
- Phone: (313) 246-2169
- Payment: Credit or debit card
- Weight limit: 320 pounds
[Hat tip to Annalise Frank, who posted Monday about Motown Mopeds in the first Axios Detroit newsletter.]