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Showing Springfield like never before: Eway

Entrepreneurial spirit leads to a new idea of transportation across Springfield.

Marquez Williams always had an entrepreneurial mindset and knew he wanted to start his own business. But he wasn’t exactly sure what kind of business he wanted to run. He started a t-shirt business, a moving company, and even started an Uber-like service before it was “Uber.”  

Then the road to Eway, LLC just opened up for him. 

Williams and his brother, Trey Northern, visited Tulsa, OK. There, they noticed a new means of transportation in the downtown area, E-scooters.  

“We were hanging out and saw these scooters and started talking. ‘This would be crazy in Springfield. It’s such a flat ground area and not too many hills,’” Williams remembers. “It was one of those situations where I knew instantly what I wanted to do.” 

They came back to Springfield and immediately reached out to several e-scooter companies to see if there was a possibility of getting the scooters to Springfield. However, Springfield just wasn’t a big enough market for those companies.  

That was all the brothers needed to hear: They would target markets with populations of 300,000 or less – bringing scooters to previously overlooked areas.  Especially in the Midwest.  

Marquez Williams stands in efactory.

Finding a new home for Eway

Eway launched on Sept. 9, 2021, in a strip mall on South Campbell – several miles south of the downtown area.  

“It wasn’t an ideal convenient location,” Williams said. “If you wanted to use a scooter, you had to come to our office, pay and then load a scooter up and drive it somewhere.”  

With the natural beauty of the Ozarks, the Greenways trails, and the parks systems, Eway did find a sliver of their market willing to do the trek to southside SGF, though.  

Downtown was the place they wanted to grow, though. And through the Downtown Springfield Association Facebook page, Williams heard about opportunities to grow there. It was an introduction to efactory and Missouri Small Business Development Center at MSU (SBDC) – and since 2022, Eway has operated from the office space at 405 N. Jefferson and sought business support from the consultants here as needed.  

The support goes beyond projections, plans, paperwork, and strategy. Williams is thankful for the environment and the networking opportunities he’s found at efactory.  

Building a new commute style

Eway now has 33 scooters in operation, mostly in downtown Springfield. And they’re working on a plan to more than double that inventory. 

“If you’re taking public transportation, it’s usually about a mile walk to a bus stop and then a mile walk from the bus to your destination. That was the initial gap a lot of scooter companies were wanting to close. And then it started to become more of a leisure thing,” Williams said. “Scooters allow you to get to where you need to go on your time, without having to share your ride with someone – even your driver. It’s there to help you be free to explore the city.” 

Download the app “Ride Eway” on the Apple or Google Play stores.