Have you seen those bright green bikes being driven around town lately? Having over 1000 bikes and 65 bike racks in the area, chances are you have. They are part of NICE Ride Minnesota and it is the largest public bike sharing system in the country. And they are expanding!
How does it work?
If those big racks full of bikes seem a little intimidating to go up and figure out how they work, let me help you out! First, you need a subscription to use them. There are 3 options: 1 day, 1 month, or 1 year. When you check a bike out, you can return it at any NICE Ride station. Bikes can be rented anytime from April to November. When you rent a bike, it grants you an unlocking code. What can get a little confusing are the fees associated with the subscription. A subscription allows you a free 30 minute trip during your subscription time (whether a day, month, or year), but after the 30 minutes are up, you get charged for extra time. The following half an hour is a $1.50 fee, the following hour is $4.50, and every half an hour after that is $6.00. These fees can be avoided by checking in your bike at a rack and getting a new one right after with a new unlocking code (by re-entering your credit card, but you’ll not be charged again for the same subscription). Depending on what you’re doing, this 30 minute limit can be a bit of a nuisance. Make sure you look at the maps provided to know where other bike racks are in the area you’ll be traveling to avoid aimlessly searching. Month or year subscriptions, which can be purchased online, are nice if you can use the bikes during your lunch hour to go get food or make a quick trip. A day subscription, which is purchased at the rack, can be nice too, but is not quite as cost-effective. A day subscription also has a security deposit of $50, but will not be charged if the bike is returned within that time.
And what’s new?
NICE Ride is planning on expanding in downtown Minneapolis, downtown St. Paul and the Grand Ave/University Ave corridor. They are holding an hour and a half workshops to hear our ideas on Tuesday, November 9, 6:30, at Hedberg Maps, Northrup King Building (1500 Jackson St NE, Suite 314); Thursday, November 11, 6:30, at Freewheel Midtown Bike Center (2834 10th Av. S.); and Wednesday, November 17, 6:30, at Laura Jeffrey Academy (1550 Summit Ave). If you can’t make it to a meeting but would like to share what you think with them, you can email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.