Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

Antioch native opens Hawai’i’s first flagship location for line of all-electric two-wheel vehicles

Monday, August 1st, 2022

Nathan Bingham inside his NIU Honolulu store. Photos Poi Planet.

NIU Honolulu offers mopeds, kick scooters, motor scooters and e-bikes

2004 Antioch High grad Nathan Bingham inspiring others to “Make Life Electric”

NIU Honolulu owner Nathan Bingham.

Honolulu, HI — NIU (pronounced “NEW”) Technologies, the world’s leading provider of smart and eco-friendly two-wheelers, officially opened its first flagship store in Kaimuki in Honolulu on the island of Oʻahu in Hawai’i. With gas prices soaring at an average of $5.40 per gallon in the Hawaiʻi islands, Nathan Bingham, owner of Hawaiian Style Rentals & Sales (see related article), proudly partners with NIU Technologies to bring Hawaiʻi a more cost-effective, alternative mode of transportation. Featuring all-new electric mopeds, kick scooters, motor scooters, and e-bikes, NIU provides riders a stylish, more convenient, and economical way to travel in Hawaiʻi.

Initially founded in 2014, NIU currently has retail stores in over 38 countries. With their goal to create a modern mode of transportation that is environmentally friendly, NIU built two-wheeler vehicles designed to perform, backed with an innovative electric system. Bingham partnered with NIU in 2021, as he was fully aware of the need for a dependable, affordable, and eco-friendly alternative to Hawaiʻi’s traditional, gas-operated transportation.

He opened the NIU Honolulu store in February, this year.

“Providing Hawaiʻi customers a modern mode of transportation is our goal. NIU provides a safe, comfortable, efficient, and fun way to get around town,” Bingham said. “The all-electric mopeds, kick scooters, motor scooters, and e-bikes aren’t just beautiful in design, but are very easy to maneuver. They are better for the environment in so many ways, including a significant reduction in noise pollution as NIU products make no sound.”

“We think NIU may inspire many to ‘make life electric,’ leave their cars in the garage, and give the electric lifestyle a go,” he added.

About his Hawaiian Style Rentals business Bingham said, “we expanded into a second location right before the pandemic, but we had to shut it down two months later. Then we reopened in Dec. 2020. Then from the middle of March to the middle of August, because of a rental car shortage, business was unimaginable. We had lines out the door. We then opened our third location in May 2022. We’ve staffed up from nine employees before the pandemic to 25, today.”

“Our rental shops are all in Waikiki for tourism,” he explained. “The NIU store is a few miles away in Honolulu to serve the locals. It’s the flagship store for all the Hawiai’ian islands and the third in the U.S.”

Bingham graduated from Antioch High in 2004. His mom went to Pittsburg High, his wife, Martina (maiden name Cacciaroni) is also from Antioch. Her mother graduated from Antioch High, and her father graduated from Pittsburg High and owned Cacci’s Deli in Pittsburg. Nathan’s grandfather ran the train station in Pittsburg, he shared. They’ve been in East County and Northern California this past weekend and this week with their one-year-old baby boy celebrating his birthday with family.

Nathan’s love for mopeds started at age 18, when he and his family experienced scooter rides around O’ahu while on vacation.

After high school, Bingham went to BYU in Utah for a semester, then transferred to BYU Hawai’i on the North Shore. With the help of his brothers while visiting him during Spring Break, he rented scooters and decided to go into the business and didn’t return to school. Bingham ran the business out of the back of his truck for a few years, delivering and picking up scooters.

“It took me a while to get the business going,” Bingham shared.

About the NIU product line he said, “because it’s such a new product, the electric mopeds, there’s a lot of legislation being pushed. It’s just the way things are going. China went fully electric a few years ago. NIU is selling about a million units a year, internationally. They have a big presence in Asia and Europe.”

NIU products have state-of-the-art features that put them at the forefront of the electric mobility industry. The NIU Energy Lithium Battery is light and dependable, built with an aluminum casing to prevent overheating and a handle to carry on the go. Because they are removable, they make an intelligent security feature. All NIU vehicles are linked to the “NIU Cloud” app, allowing customers to be connected to their electric vehicle 24/7 through their smartphone devices. Customers can check their battery status, view riding history, locate their vehicle, and be alerted of any unauthorized movement of their scooter. Every NIU vehicle has movement sensors that alert the rider if there are unauthorized vibrations detected. This feature is proven to prevent theft, and the GPS tracking system can pinpoint where each vehicle is according to your location. There are “easy” settings on ECO mode for beginning riders, limiting the speed and automatically adjusting the brakes’ sensitivity. For quick journeys, sport mode can be activated while keeping the ride smooth and seamless. According to the user’s preferences, these two modes can be interchanged. All motorbikes, scooters, and mopeds also come with a digital LED display, with lights that output greater luminosity while reducing energy, and an intuitive dashboard.

With the 100% electric design, users of NIU products will be saving money on transportation. For less than two cents per mile, NIU riders pay as low as 47 cents per charge, giving them ranges from 28 miles up to 87 miles depending on the vehicle and battery size. Also, with any electric two-wheel rides, regular maintenance usually performed on gas-powered models is not needed, such as oil changes, air filters, or fuel filters.

Asked about future plans, in what he referred to as ‘the micro-mobility market’, Bingham said, “what’s great about NIU is they’re always coming out with new products, including an electric motorcycle. So, we will continue to build the brand. The goal is to get a presence in all the islands.”

So, the next time you’re in Honolulu, stop by the NIU Honolulu store or one of Bingham’s Hawaiian Style Rentals and say “hello” and be sure to rent one of their electric, two-wheel vehicles.

To learn more please visit niuhonolulu.com, or follow NIU Honolulu on Instagram (@niuhonolulu) and Facebook (NIU Honolulu).

About NIU Honolulu

NIU (pronounced “NEW”) Technologies, the world’s leading provider of smart and eco-friendly two-wheelers, officially opened its first flagship store in Kaimuki, Oʻahu. Begun in 2021 by owner, Nathan Bingham, NIU Honolulu is Hawaiʻi’s first store that sells electric mopeds, kick scooters, motor scooters, and e-bikes. The modern two-wheeler vehicles are 100% electric and have the option to remove the battery as needed, keeping the NIU scooters safe from theft. Interested guests can book a test ride at the shop, and servicing for all two-wheeled vehicles is completed within the store.

Allen D. Payton contributed to this report.

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Amtrak San Joaquins invites travelers to create new holiday memories on the train this Thanksgiving season

Sunday, November 21st, 2021

Serving Antioch, Martinez and Richmond stations

Riders are encouraged to book early during peak holiday travel times

Amtrak San Joaquins is expecting to see a significant increase in ridership this Thanksgiving travel season and is advising riders to book their tickets early. The holiday period typically sees some of the highest ridership levels of the year, and it is expected that many customers who have been delaying travel during the pandemic will be making plans to visit family and friends.

“We have seen ridership returning over the past year, although we are still below our pre-pandemic levels at this point,” said David Lipari, Marketing Manager for Amtrak San Joaquins. “We expect the Thanksgiving travel week to be a key indicator of continued recovery and ridership growth as families take trips that have been long-delayed. We are excited for travelers to make Amtrak San Joaquins part of their holiday plan, and to experience train ridership as a comfortable, convenient, and memorable way to travel.”

The Amtrak San Joaquins route travels daily between Sacramento, Stockton, Oakland, Fresno and Bakersfield, including Antioch, Martinez and Richmond in Contra Costa County, along with Thruway buses that provide connecting service to 135 destinations in California and Nevada, including Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, San Diego, Napa Valley, Las Vegas and Reno. It also serves students traveling to and from a number of colleges and universities including Sac State, Fresno State, UC Merced and more.

Passengers are encouraged to plan ahead and book their train tickets early as it is expected for many of the trains to be at maximum capacity during the most popular travel times. Additionally, Amtrak San Joaquins advises passengers to look at a broader range of travel dates before and after Thanksgiving to access additional booking capacity.

Amtrak San Joaquins provides an easy and comfortable way to travel this holiday season – with a traffic-free, airport-free, stress-free experience.  Travelers will continue to experience enhanced safety, cleaning and physical distancing measures that have been put in place to promote public health. These protocols include required face coverings, contactless amenities, regular cleaning and disinfection, social distancing on board and in stations, and sophisticated air filtration. Amtrak San Joaquins has information about its COVID-19 response here.

Ticketing and reservations are available on AmtrakSanJoaquins.com, the Amtrak app, or by calling 1-800-USA-RAIL.

 

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