Nice Ride MN Plans Expansion to North Minneapolis

The organization has committed to adding six bike-share stations in north Minneapolis in spring 2011.

Local bike-share program Nice Ride Minnesota recently announced plans to expand to north Minneapolis in 2011.

The nonprofit organization-which was made possible through the contributions of both public and private investors, including many local retailers and businesses-has committed to adding six bike-share stations in north Minneapolis in spring 2011.

Nice Ride is conducting an outreach program in North Minneapolis, called “Nice Ride on the North Side-Get Engaged for Active Living.” The outreach program is designed to officially introduce the Nice Ride program and gather input from residents, bicycle advocates, businesses, and community leaders.

Nice Ride hopes to identify possible station locations and ways to eliminate obstacles that might prevent bike sharing in north Minneapolis through the outreach program.

“Now that bikes are on the street, we have an opportunity to listen closely to what people think and take steps to make the Nice Ride system better and accessible to even more people,” Bill Dossett, executive director of Nice Ride, said in a statement. “That is why Nice Ride will be hosting community meetings and focus group meetings in North Minneapolis.”

Biko Associates, Inc., a community-based planning consultant firm in Minneapolis, has been selected to conduct the outreach program, which will include two community meetings and focus group meetings.

Nice Ride launched its program in June with 1,000 bicycles in 75 kiosks located in downtown Minneapolis, on the University of Minnesota's Minneapolis campus, and in nearby commercial districts-including Uptown, Lyn-Lake, Midtown, Seward, Cedar-Riverside, the Warehouse District, St. Anthony Main, and Dinkytown.

To ride, bikers pay a $5 daily fee via credit card or purchase a $60 annual subscription. The program allows them to take a bike from one locked Nice Ride Minnesota kiosk and return it to another near their destinations. By mid-September, Nice Ride reported that more than 72,000 bike trips had been taken and almost 1,200 year-long subscriptions had been sold.

Nice Ride cost about $3.39 million to start up and will require an additional $1.57 million annually. The City of Minneapolis, which was a founding partner in the project, contributed $350,000 in start-up funding. Operating costs will be paid for by a combination of revenue from operations and revenue from corporate sponsorship.