June 28, 2011
On Monday, the mayors of both Minneapolis and St. Paul celebrated the opening of 43 new NiceRide bike stations in the two cities this summer with a bike ride from Minneapolis to St. Paul.
The ride also marked the completion of the eastbound Central Corridor construction on University Avenue from Emerald Street to Hampden Avenue.
The Nice Ride expansion means instead of 700 bikes, there will be 1200 bikes across the two cities for riding. Learn about the specific locations and view the kiosk map, watch the press conference, or view photos from the event.
$$ Approved for Expansion
The nonprofit Nice Ride Minnesota got the nod from the Minneapolis City Council last week, to receive more than a million of federal dollars to move forward on its Phase II plan. The $1,043,000 comes from the Non-Motorized Transportation Pilot Project from the federal Highway Administration. Additional funding for the expansion came from Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Minnesota, the Central Corridor Funders Collaborative, and the High Winds Fund.
The system was launched last year with 65 of the green bike kiosks. Executive Director Bill Dossett says crews were out this week setting up the first of 43 new stations on their list to expand the system in Minneapolis and St. Paul. Twenty will be installed in Minneapolis, 20 in St. Paul and three at the University of Minnesota. The larger plan, Dossett says, is to add 130 stations overall to the two cities--the rest could be funded by next year.
Nice Ride Statistics
On average, the system is used around 1,000 trips a day.
Annual subscriptions have shot up from 1,300 last year to 3,300 this year.
Though the numbers aren't crunched yet, Dossett estimates usage this season will go beyond last year's total of 29,000 trips.
The heaviest use is in downtown Minneapolis.
Dossett says other cities such as Boston, Chicago and Seattle have been watching Nice Ride Minnesota and, based on its initial success, are electing to move forward with major bike sharing systems.