The Bike Share industry is still new and growing. We received a lot of questions from the community about “how things work” behind the scenes. There are a lot of moving parts performed by a dedicated team.
As an on going effort to introduce you to the Relay Bike Share team, Timberley Jones the Marketing and Community Outreach Manager interviewed Julie Wells the General Manager below.
What do you do in your role as the General Manager?
As GM of Relay I get to wear a few different hats. Sometimes I’m out riding meeting with businesses and community organizers, and some days I am in the office returning emails or working with the team to optimize our processes. The best part about working on the Relay team is that, no matter what I am doing, it is never dull.
What is your “bike” background? Why work with bikes?
My bike background…well, my bike love story started, as many do, when I was very young. Bikes equaled freedom and allowed me to get around the neighborhood beyond the view of watchful eyes. The bike gave way to a car when I turned 16, but when I left for college the flame was reignited. At Georgia Tech, freshmen are not allowed to have cars which meant the bike was back!
I moved out West for a few years after graduation, and when I returned I was determined to get involved with an organization that was working to better Atlanta. I found that the Atlanta Cycling Festival fit that bill! Working on the ACF team allowed me to meet and interact with our the passionate members of our biking community, and inspired me to transition my career to advocating for alternative transit options full time.
Bikes are freedom, bikes are transportation, bikes are fun, bikes are friends, bikes are exercise….why not work with bikes?
Thoughts on the bike share industry as a whole?
Bike share is relatively new industry, specially here in the States. The industry is changing so rapidly right now that it is hard to keep up! Most of our larger systems are traditional docked/stationed bike share systems, but new “dockless” bike share systems are popping up everywhere. What that says to me is that bike share is what people want! I think in the long run, it’s going to be a major first and last mile solution for Atlantans.
Thoughts on bike share in Atlanta?
I look around town at all of new developments going in and think, “oh, here come another 800 cars.” Atlanta’s population is growing so fast because everyone wants to come and enjoy our amazing city…who can blame them?! But how are we all going to get around without pulling our hair our? MARTA and Relay are the best answers I can come up with. I see bike share in Atlanta increasingly becoming part of our every day lives. I love the picture I have in my mind of Monday mornings filled with blue bikes moving around town!
Thank you for riding Atlanta!