Share | Posted Mar. 21, 2013 by Anthony Ongaro
Spring is officially here and although the temps are low, the excitement is high at Nice Ride and we're ready to share it with all of you. First off, we are adding a total of 24 new stations for the 2013 season - this brings the total system to 170 stations across the Twin Cities. Funding for the new stations comes from three different sources: the National Parks Service, intended for creating alternative transportation access to the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area, our title sponsor Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, and Hennepin County - to enhance service on Lake Street and the Hiawatha Rail Line.
You will find new stations serving destinations near the Mississipi River, from Webber Park in the Camden neighborhood to Fort Snelling State Park. In partnership with the Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board, Nice Ride will also be adding stations near the popular parks destinations for which we receive the most new station requests. Look for new stations near Lake Calhoun, Lake Harriet, Lake Nokomis, Minnehaha Falls, Boom Island, Gluek Park, and Riverside Park.
Three years after launching the largest bike share system in the U.S., Nice Ride's board took an in-depth look at our system, evaluating who it’s serving and its long-term financial sustainability. Working with Community Design Group, we concluded that the bike share system has three important parts:
Network Stations are the core of the transportation system. These stations are used every day by regular users to go to work, meet friends, and get around town.
Attraction Point stations serve residents and tourists who are exploring our parks and trails, museums, and the riverfront. In 2013, we’re expanding our Attraction Point stations in response to public requests.
Regional Equity stations provide expanded access to mobility for residents of underserved neighborhoods. These neighborhoods often do not have the residential density, employment centers, or retail destinations associated with high bike share use. Nice Ride is committed to supporting regional equity, and is working hard to raise funds to help cover operating costs of these stations.
Nice Ride works with Sieco Construction to redeploy our stations and will be doing so as soon as the snowbanks melt. With their help we are able to install about 25 stations per night once the operations begin. Assuming everything goes to plan, we expect to turn on the system in the first week of April. For the 24 new stations going in this spring, we are currently receiving parts and we expect to assemble them fully in April for an early May installation.
We're excited to bring you a bigger and better network of Nice Ride stations for Spring and look forward to seeing all of you out there as soon as the weather permits.
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