Minnesota Spring, System Optimization, New Locations

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/Daily Transportation Demand
  • Attraction Points/Sightseeing and Recreational Demand
  • Regional Equity/Underserved, Transit Dependent, and Health Disparity Demand

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.  

       Read the full System Optimization report »

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.

14 Previous comments:

(1) On March 22, 2013, Robin Pierce () said:
Ah, great job guys!

I keep hoping you will get around to setting up stations near me, East of Lake Phalen. Lots of lower income folks over this way, and both the Bruce Vento trail and the Gateway State Trail are on this side of downtown St. Paul, and the Vento leads from Lake Phalen right to the end of the new Light Rail line, imagine commuters using Nice Ride bike to get to Lowertown St. Paul, to the Farmers Market there, or to their jobs, or to the new ballpark and back again after the game! Please don't forget there is more to the Twin Cities than just the space between Minneapolis and St. Paul. Eastside matters too. Thanks for listening!
(2) On March 22, 2013, Kristin () said:
It's nice to hear about the new stations, but I really wish you'd bring back the one at Victoria & University. That's a might big gap north of 94 between Lexington & Dale. I realize that Frogtown stations probably don't see a lot of use (i.e. are "Regional Equity" locations), but a more complete network will drive higher use in the neighborhood.
(3) On March 28, 2013, Kiki () said:
Glad to see this service expanding, but how many more bikes could have been put into service instead of buying that ice sculpture?
(4) On March 28, 2013, Debby smith () said:
Como park needs ride share bikes. There should be a station on the east and the west side of the park. There are lots of trails and a very large number of people visit the park each year. There is a shortage of parking so ride share bikes would be a great way to get to the park.
(5) On March 31, 2013, Kristin () said:
Just the other day I noticed the beginnings of a station going in at Victoria & University, so I hereby retract my previous comment! I really appreciate having the station there- I will put my money where my mouth is and subscribe shortly. It looks like you need to update the map to show this location, though. Thanks again!
(6) On April 1, 2013, Melissa () said:
I agree with all other commenters (yay, Kristin, about the improvement in your neighborhood!!) and want to add a second comment for the Como neighborhood. I volunteered at the Como Conservatory twice a month for 5 years and was often the only one who biked there, even on the best of conditions day. I know it's farther away from the current locations, but alternative transit to Como Park is sorely needed.
(7) On April 3, 2013, Maddy Love () said:
I use Nice Ride often to commute to various health clinics I float to around the Twin Cities. Just picked up a second subscription so my wife and I can also use it for recreation this coming summer. I absolutely love this service. Thank you so much for putting in a station at Fort Snelling and Minnehaha
(8) On April 3, 2013, Peter Fleck () said:
Very happy to see the bikes getting deployed. I would have used one today if I had known about it.

From your map, it looks like you removed the station at the Franklin LRT station. Does that make sense? I think people around Seward would use the bikes to get to the station. I did last season.

If ridership numbers weren't high enough at the Franklin LRT station, did you factor in all the construction in that area last year? Often it was difficult to get to the docks.

I hope you will consider putting that one back on line.
(9) On April 4, 2013, Melis () said:
ROBIN PIERCE ~~ I sent in for many locations that you mentioned and well it went into a box.

Glad the hipsters of St.Paul/Mpls are being served.
1-2 stations east of St.Paul to make a connection to another station downtown St. Paul would have been great.
I don't think I will be renewing family keys this year.
(10) On April 4, 2013, Bob Hain () said:
I second the Franklin LRT Station. The bus is infrequent and there is a NR station close to my house. I don't use NR a lot because I use my own bike but I have used it to go to and from the LRT. It is a bit far to walk and NR is the perfect fit.

In addition to Peter's comment about the Franklin LRT, I was surprised to see that the Midtown Global Market station was missing off the map. I would have assumed high volume for that stop. I haven't been by to see if a kiosk is setup there yet, but it wasn't on your new map.

(12) On April 7, 2013, Jesse () said:
Since there is obviously recreational demand for bikes, it would seem prudent to study the possibility of extending the "free" period from 30 minutes to 2 hours. Even for a normal daily commute, 30 minutes is a very short time period. If the goal is to make people more healthy, the time limits are probably turning off a lot of people that might be interested in participating.
(13) On April 8, 2013, Karen () said:
Thanks for putting in NiceRide stations along Minnehaha, Hiawatha and Nokomis in South Minneapolis. Now I can ride home from work on a nice day instead of taking the train/bus. Exactly what I hoped for!
(14) On May 13, 2013, Chris () said:
I rely quite a bit on NiceRide, as I gave up my car two years ago. Primarily I'm a bus user, and have jumped off the 53 on occasion to grab a bike along Lake Street.
Could NiceRide would coordinate better with MetroTransit. Key spots where the rack is far from the bus (if it exists at all):
Midtown Global Market - on opposite side of complex from transit center.
I94/Snelling - Nearest station is 5 blocks away
Highland Village - system is close to this community, but not close enough (St. Kate's)
LRT stations - 38th and 46th station additions could tie into Highland and Lake St use. I also endorse the previous Franklin station comments.
Finally, we have dedicated bike lanes on Park and Portland - major revamp of these streets for bike use in 2012 - but still no stations along them. A handful of stations could really boost use of 42nd St Bikeway and help build a needed web of use through S. Minneapolis from Uptown to Powderhorn and Minnehaha Parks.

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From the FAQ

How long can I take a bike out?

Bike sharing is designed for short trips. Trips over 30 minutes will incur usage fees. You can take a bike out for a maximum of 24 hours. After that time, the bike will be considered lost and a replacement fee will be charged to your credit card.