A message from Nice Ride Minnesota Board of Directors about transition

Share   |  Posted Jul. 2, 2018 by Nice Ride Minnesota

We are the Board of Directors of Nice Ride Minnesota, the nonprofit that has owned and operated the bike sharing system in the Twin Cities since 2010.  We are volunteers — our day jobs are at local professional firms, public agencies, and advocacy groups. For eight years, we have had the privilege to work with an incredible group of talented employees who have invested boundless energy to make bike sharing safe, reliable, and equitable.  On July 2, implementing a business plan we have been working on publicly for ten months, these employees will go to work for Motivate Minnesota, a subsidiary of Motivate International, the largest operator of bike sharing systems in North America. We are proud of the work we have done together.  We are excited for the work we will do together in the future.

Our contract with Motivate has aspects of a transfer of assets and a subcontract.  Motivate is acquiring our tools and parts and will lease our shop. Motivate will fund and own the dockless pilot.  The Nice Ride nonprofit will continue to own the older, station-based equipment until it is taken out of service at some point in the future.  We remain obligated to our public-sector partners under the grants that funded our past growth and to the public landowners who have permitted our operations.  We have subcontracted with Motivate to fulfill those obligations.

Our role has changed significantly, but remains very important.  We are responsible for overseeing a contract with Motivate that includes service level commitments and an equity plan.  We are also responsible for continuing the level of collaboration between entrepreneurs and city officials that has made our program a nationally recognized innovator.  We are excited to work with local partners, including the McKnight Foundation and the Shared Use Mobility Center, to do this work. We will share our results and hope these experiences can help inform a broader discussion about how cities can encourage and shape privately-funded mobility-on-demand services to achieve public goals.

We signed this contract knowing that more change is coming.  More bikes. More industry consolidation. More e-bikes. More challenges to balance competing needs for using the right-of-way.  We believe this contract positions us and the Twin Cities to manage change, to seize opportunity, to maintain quality, reliability, and equity, and to continue to innovate.

Over the next few months, we will begin evaluating potential new initiatives for our nonprofit and considering a name change.  We are proud of the name “Nice Ride Minnesota” and will be excited to see it on a fleet of state-of-the-art bikes.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the riders, partners, and sponsors who have made Nice Ride successful and supported us through a challenging transition.  We would also like to thank all of the advocates and experts who helped us review proposals and move forward. We want to thank our title sponsor, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, which has supported us from Day 1 and continued to support us with flexibility and mission-focused energy throughout our transition.  Finally, we want to thank our staff. You are the best!

Key Public Partners

  • City of Minneapolis

  • City of St. Paul

  • Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board

  • University of Minnesota

  • Federal Highway Association

  • National Park Service and the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area

  • Metro Transit

  • Hennepin County

  • Minnesota Department of Transportation


Title Sponsor

  • Blue Cross and Blue Shield of MN

Station/Program Sponsor

  • Target Corporation

Station Sponsors

  • ABC Ramps – Minneapolis Parking

  • Abbott Northwestern

  • Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union

  • Allina Health East

  • Allina Health West

  • Ameriprise

  • Augsburg University

  • Aveda Institute Minneapolis

  • Barbette

  • Birchwood Café

  • Bryant Lake Bowl

  • Car2go

  • Caribou Coffee

  • CenterPoint Energy

  • Dero

  • Dorsey & Whitney, LLP

  • Equal Exchange

  • FirstService Residential

  • Freewheel Bike

  • Gigi’s Café

  • Gold’n Plump Just Bare Chicken

  • Grant Thornton

  • Hiway Federal Credit Union

  • Ice Dam Guys

  • MCAD

  • McNally Smith College of Music

  • Minneapolis Foundation

  • Mississippi Market Natural Foods Co-op

  • New Belgium

  • Pat’s Tap

  • Peace Coffee

  • Pieper Whitaker Bjork

  • PWC

  • QBP

  • Red Stag Supperclub

  • Roepke Public Relations

  • Seward Community Co-op

  • Smiths Medical

  • SuperValu

  • The St. Paul Foundation

  • Third North Apartments

  • Todd & Sydney Taggart

  • University of St. Thomas

  • US Bank

  • Wedge Community Co-op

  • Winthrop & Weinstine

  • Xcel Energy

Media and Event Sponsors

  • Car2go

  • Meet Minneapolis

  • Metro Transit

  • Minneapolis Foundation

  • Surly Brewing

  • The Wedge Co-op

Professional Services/In Kind Contributions

  • Allina Health

  • Clockwork

  • Dero

  • Dorsey & Whitney, LLP

  • Duffy & Partners

  • Duff Thury

  • Faegre & Benson

  • Grant Thornton

  • Mike Gibbs

  • Mint Roofing

  • Moquist Thorvilson Kaufmann & Pieper LLC

  • Mono

  • Persuasion Arts and Sciences

  • Pieper Whitaker Bjork

  • Roepke Public Relations

  • Roundpeg

  • Wells Fargo

  • Winthrop & Weinstine

Rochester Sponsorships

  • Mayo Clinic Office of Wellness

  • Mayo Clinic Community Relations

  • Rochester MN Convention & Visitors Bureau

  • Rochester Downtown Alliance

Bike fitting:

Nice Ride bikes are all one size and have been designed to accommodate riders between 5'0" and 6'6" in height. The seat height is easily adjustable. Our bikes are built for quick trips in the city by people wearing regular clothes and carrying ordinary stuff.