Imagine you have out-of-town guests and you're looking for an exciting way to show them the sights. Simple.... Take them for a tour of downtown Sarasota and the beaches on an electric bike.
It's easy and it's all done online. Go to E-RidesUSA.com, reserve your bike, and you will receive a four-digit code. Take that code to your selected E-Rides USA terminal, unlock the keybox to your electric bike, and you're on your way to fun in the sun. No attendant is necessary to pick up or drop off your bike, and you can arrange online to pick up your bike at one terminal and drop it off at another.
That technology has come to Sarasota, Florida, perhaps for the first time anywhere, thanks to proprietors Felix Okoro and Lester Benavides of E-Rides USA, LLC, in collaboration with Swim City. They have launched electric bike terminals at two Swim City stores in Sarasota, with an eye toward opening other terminals at other locations.
In addition, E-Rides USA signed an agreement with the Sarasota-Bradenton Airport to have a display and an information booth, as well as to play a 60-second video on six screens, in the baggage claim area. Those installations have been completed.
"We are thrilled to be partnering with Swim City and the Sarasota-Bradenton Airport," said Okoro, who has a background in the hospitality and transportation industries. "Swim City is a solid brand that represents family fun and the Florida lifestyle. Their stores are the ideal venues to launch E-Rides USA. The airport is the gateway to Sarasota and the perfect place to inform new visitors about the recreational opportunities available."
"We feel Sarasota is the perfect place to start this business," said Benavides, who also owns the West Florida Sedan taxi service. "E-Rides USA is a great solution for tourists, as well as for locals who are entertaining out-of-town visitors."
"E-Rides USA is a great fit for us," said Tommy Johnson of Swim City, whose family owns 10 swimsuit stores under several names along the Florida West Coast and Vero Beach. "This venture is an exciting way to keep an established business like ours fresh and relevant."
Online reservation capability will be available Saturday, December 6.
E-Rides USA (E-RidesUSA.com) will celebrate its launch with a Grand Opening event on Saturday, December 6, from 11 am. to 5 pm., at the Swim City store in downtown Sarasota, 50 N. Tamiami Trail. Open to the public, the Grand Opening will feature bike rides and demonstrations, deejay entertainment, raffle prizes and complimentary refreshments. Anyone over the age of 16 can experience driving an electric bicycle for the first time. The raffle prize is the use of two bikes for one day. Proceeds from the raffle will be donated to the Church of the Cross in Bradenton.
Sleek and racy looking, the bikes feature the Swim City logo on the front and the E-Rides USA logo on the sides. They are equipped with pedals as well as electric motors, and head and tail lights for sunset drives. The rental fee is $30 for a full day. Discounts are provided for rentals of five days or longer. Area restaurants and shops are also offering discounts for customers who arrive on electric bicycles.
"To my knowledge, no one else in the country has a business quite like this with our e-commerce component," said Okoro.
The terminal at the Swim City store in downtown Sarasota, across from the Ritz-Carlton, allows easy access to the Sarasota bayfront, Island Park and St. Armands Circle. The terminal at 1960 Stickney Point Road is a short ride across the bridge to the beaches and shops of Siesta Key.
Proprietors expect to open a third terminal at the Swim City store on Longboat Key in the near future, with long-range plans to branch out to hotels and resorts around Florida and beyond.
Felix Okoro - P: 941-726-9011
Lester Benavides - P: 941-580-1221
Tommy Johnson P: 941-321-4059.