Nice Ride Launches Bike Rental Program in Rochester

Share   |  Posted Aug. 18, 2016 by Nice RIde Minnesota

Nice Ride Minnesota is bringing a fleet of bikes to Rochester as part of its ongoing efforts to introduce more communities to the benefits of active transportation.

Nice Ride launched in 2010 as the nation’s largest nonprofit bike sharing system and continues to be a model for urban bike share programs across the country. In addition to fostering active lifestyles, Nice Ride has helped change the way people perceive and experience transportation in the Twin Cities. By increasing access to bikes in Rochester, Nice Ride aims to recreate that success and help the city take a critical first step toward creating the downtown of the future.

“We are thrilled to be a part of Rochester’s long and world-renowned history of supporting healthy people and communities,” said Kim Edens, manager of Nice Ride’s Rochester program. “We hope Nice Ride bike rentals can be a catalyst for additional bike-friendly infrastructure investments and an even more active, vibrant downtown.”

Through its Destination Medical Center (DMC) Development Plan, Rochester will transform its downtown core and position itself as one of America’s model cities for health and wellness. As the city continues to invest in a downtown where people live, work, and play, Nice Ride will work hand in hand with Rochester officials, employers, and bike advocates to introduce more people to active transportation. Nice Ride will be a critical piece of Rochester’s multi-modal approach to developing comprehensive transportation solutions, including a bicycle route – the City Loop – that will tie into the existing trail network and other proposed bicycle routes and offer connections to each DMC district.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, which has provided funding to Nice Ride through its Center for Prevention since 2009, is also the title sponsor of the Rochester expansion.

“While Minnesota is often considered one of the healthiest states in the nation, not all of our communities are built to enable health in daily activities,” said Janelle Waldock, vice president of community health and health equity at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota. “Blue Cross is proud to support Nice Ride in bringing a sustainable, fun, and healthy transportation option to people who live in and visit Rochester.”

Nice Ride’s expansion to Rochester was also made possible through critical support from Mayo Clinic. “Mayo Clinic’s support of Nice Ride in Rochester enhances our patients’ experience by providing a convenient and healthy way for both residents and visitors to access Rochester,” said Paul Limburg, M.D., medical director for the Mayo Clinic Office of Wellness and the Dan Abraham Healthy Living Center. “As an organization invested in the health and wellness of our community, Mayo Clinic will continue to work with Nice Ride and the City of Rochester to make the bike share program as accessible as possible for our patients, our employees and our community.”

The bike rental program will initially launch with a system tailored to Rochester, focusing on its 2 million annual visitors. Nice Ride will bring a fleet of bikes and staffing for outreach and encouragement programs, with a long-term goal of introducing self-service bike share stations as more people move downtown and more bike lanes reach downtown destinations. Nice Ride also plans to innovate with new programs targeted to riders with disabilities. 

Rochester’s orange bikes will be available to rent through staffed locations. Bikes will be available at the People’s Food Co-op and the Peace Plaza Visitor Kiosk. Rental fees are $8 per hour, $20 for four hours, or $30 for eight hours.

Rochester Mayor Ardell Brede will host an official launch event in Peace Plaza on August 19 at 12:15 p.m. Joining Mayor Brede will be Waldock, representatives of Mayo Clinic, as well as Edens and Bill Dossett, executive director of Nice Ride. A group ride to the Silver Lake Park fire station will follow the launch.

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How do I get access?

To use Nice Ride, you can purchase either single ride, a Day Pass or a membership.  Single rides and Day Passes are available at the pay station of every Nice Ride kiosk. 1-year and 30-Day Pay-as-you-go memberships are purchased online. Any of these products are available for purchase via the Nice Ride mobile app. Payment can be made with VISA, MasterCard, Discover or American Express.