YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — The streets of Youngstown may look a little different come spring, thanks to a first-of-its-kind platform’s big plans for 2023.

Ronnell Elkins, president of YOGO Bikeshare, has hopes that people will be out enjoying the city while using one of his new electric bikes.

“We wanted to foster healthy community relationships through biking, through interaction with the bikes,” Elkins says.

YOGO Bikeshare is the first of its kind in the area. The platform allows users to dock an electric bike from one location and return it to another after use.

Elkins says a recent event has helped get the word out even more.

“Since the Shark Tank event, we’ve been able to gain a lot of traction with our business, with the thanks of many supporters of the actual Shark Tank event. But more importantly, the strategic partnership that we have with the city of Youngstown,” Elkins says.

The city has helped with the various docking stations that will hold the 30 bikes. One of those docking stations will be outside of the Youngstown Flea.

Derrick McDowell from the Youngstown Flea shares the same hopes as Elkin for this coming spring.

“We could be a transformational transportation hub for this community,” McDowell says. “I hope to see our residents visibly riding around our community with smiles on their faces patronizing all the different establishments … Enjoying all of the things that our city has to offer.”

Elkins believes the bikes could benefit Youngstown State University students as well.

“Being able to get around on campus via bike and go up those hills,” Elkins says. “And that’s why we wanted to integrate … the electric bike with the pedal assist to kind of get up those hills.”

McDowell says this bikeshare launch is symbolic.

“It symbolizes a shift in not only how we transport ourselves physically throughout our community, but how we can transform and transport our mentality to the future of where this city is headed,” McDowell says.

According to Elkin, downtown Youngstown construction will determine the exact launch date of the YOGO bikes.