Share | Posted May. 14, 2012 by Ellen Apel
Nice Ride Minnesota today released a map showing planned locations for 30 new bike share stations. The focus of the 2012 expansion is primarily in downtown Saint Paul. The 2012 expansion will bring the total number of Nice Ride stations in the Twin Cities to 146, with 1,328 green bicycles in the fleet. Nice Ride is assembling the new stations now and expects to install by Bike Walk Week, June 2-10, 2012. The locations on the map are subject to change based on permitting. A Saint Paul launch event including Mayor Coleman and representatives from Minnesota Department of Transportation, the National Park Service, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota and Nice Ride is tentatively scheduled for Monday, June 4, 2012.
With funding from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota (Blue Cross), Nice Ride is also distributing more than 10,000 bike helmets at events throughout the summer.
Like previous expansions, the 2012 expansion will also be funded through public-private partnership dollars:
Nice Ride, a local non-profit, also receives operating support from Target Corporation and more than twenty-five local businesses and institutions working to create a healthier, more vibrant urban core. The Lowertown Future Fund of The Saint Paul Foundation, McNally Smith College of Music, Mississippi Market, and University of St. Thomas are some of the new station sponsors also making the downtown Saint Paul expansion possible.
Nice Ride is all about making it easy to use a bike for short trips in the city—where more than 40 percent of daily trips are less than three miles. Almost 350,000 trips have been taken on the bikes since the system started in June 2010. The 2012 expansion will make it possible for anyone to grab a bike at one of several stations in downtown Saint Paul and use it to explore the riverfront at Harriet Island, grab lunch in the District Del Sol neighborhood, squeeze in a workout at the YWCA on Selby Avenue, or shop at the Saint Paul Farmers Market in historic Lowertown. When the new light rail trains start running, Nice Ride will be ready to take people from any light rail train station to hundreds of destinations between one and three miles from the rail line
Nice Ride is thrilled to collaborate with the National Park Service, Blue Cross and many other organizations on this project and is honored to be the first bike share program recipient of national park funding from The Mississippi National River and Recreation Area. Bill Dossett, Executive Director of Nice Ride Minnesota states, “In Minneapolis and in cities throughout the world, tourists and downtown workers are using bike sharing systems to reconnect with historic industrial riverfront areas. This expansion will bring the same connection to Saint Paul, just as recent investments in the Union Depot, Upper Landing, and Harriet Island are transforming the City.”
Nice Ride Minnesota will also be conducting a Membership Drive May 14-27. People who sign-up for a 1-Year Subscription during that time period will be entered into a daily drawing to award great summer experience packages. These great packages include VIP tickets to summer music festivals, Twin’s tickets, spa and brunch, theater, museum and much more.
While it's not required, Nice Ride recommends that everyone wear a helmet. Keep a helmet at work or in your locker. Freewheel Bike offers 20% off Trek helmets to all Nice Ride Subscribers (bring your Nice Ride key or a receipt from any Nice Ride station). Pick-up a helmet at Freewheel's West Bank store or the Freewheel Midtown Bike Center