Nice Ride MN is a hit. The Twin Cities bike share recently celebrated its one year anniversary in June. And in July they started an expansion by adding more stations and bicycles to the network.
We talked with Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak who told us about how they got Nice Ride MN off the ground:
"We were gonna have to build a really big system. So I went to Blue Cross and I said we wanna do this. It's gonna be a major health initiative it's gonna cost $3 million dollars, we need you to put up a million dollars. And they looked at it, and looked at it, and they said 'yes'....I was totally blown away. And then we leveraged another million and a half from a federal grant - and again, this was Oberstar - so we got that $2.5 million."
"But then because it was such a huge success Blue Cross invested another million more and we got [other organizations contributing]."
Of course any public bike share system offers its own unique challenges and is gonna need support from the community to be a success. Thanks to the Bikes Belong Foundation we're able to provide this short snapshot of the Nice Ride MN system, how it works, and where it's headed.