Nice Ride Minnesota began adding its new fleet of 1,500 blue dockless bikes to its Minneapolis system on Sept. 18.
The bike-share operator added bikes at “virtual hubs” around the central part of the city, including downtown and the University of Minnesota campus. The bikes will be available for the next couple months, and Nice Ride Minnesota plans to double its fleet of dockless bikes in 2019.
The aim is to improve access to bike sharing throughout the city and to make the system more equitable, said Bill Dossett, executive director of Nice Ride Minnesota.
“What we’re going to do is make bike share work not just for the rider but for everybody else in the city,” Dossett said at the Sept. 18 launch event.
Nice Ride Minnesota plans 200 parking hubs around Minneapolis by the end of the year. Phillips, Seward and North Minneapolis are three areas targeted for increased access to bike sharing.
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said the expansion into the historically underserved neighborhoods would provide a more affordable transit option for communities that have been cut off from access to jobs and amenities.
“With this launch, Minneapolis is showing that it will continue leading on transit equity,” Frey said.
Nice Ride worked with the city, the university and the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, among others, to decide where to put the 200 new parking hubs. Riders will use the upgraded Nice Ride app to locate the hubs and unlock the dockless bikes parked in them.
Riders are required to end all trips and park their bikes inside the hubs. Individuals can suggest locations for additional parking hubs by visiting niceridemn.com/HubRequest.
Nice Rider has lowered the price of single rides from $3 to $2 when purchased at a kiosk and $1 when purchased through its app. It also lowered usage fees to $2 per half hour.
New York-based Motivate operates the system. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota is remaining the title sponsor of the system.