Nice Ride adds 24 new stations for 2013 season

Categories: Bicycle
The weather might be cartwheeling between sunny 60-degrees and forecasts of flurries, but a more consistent sign of spring started showing its reassuring face last week: Nice Ride's lime green bikes, back on the street for their fourth season. Along with the seasonal re-launch comes some upgrades for the program.

See Also:
- Nice Ride hits 500,000 trips
- Nice Ride takes down public data over tracking concerns
- Nice Ride Minnesota secures major funding for expansion

When Nice Ride kicked off in June 2010, it had 700 bikes at 65 stations, most of which were concentrated close to Minneapolis's downtown core and around the lakes in Uptown. Now, four years later, the program plans to introduce 24 new stations this season, for a total of 170 throughout Minneapolis and stretching into St. Paul.

To fund the latest expansion, Nice Ride is relying on $360,000 from its signature sponsor, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota; $630,000 from the National Park Service for new stations at destinations like Lake Harriet and Minnehaha Falls; and $90,000 from Hennepin County, ear-marked for bikes along Hiawatha and Lake, the Star Tribune reports.

The program's continued expansion matches its increasing popularity. Back in July 2010, the month after it launched, it averaged 761 rides per day; by July 2011, that had jumped to 1,207 rides per day. For the 2012 season, Nice Ride added another 30 locations, and in July daily rides jumped up to an average of 1,576.

Nice Ride hit 500,000 rides in August 2012. We spoke to Mitch Vars, the program's head of IT Operations, at the time, and he predicted that at the rate the program was growing, Nice Ride could crack its millionth trip by the time bikes wheel in at the end of this 2013 season.

The full fleet of 1,500 bicycles will be up and running by mid-May. Hopefully, by then, snow will be a distant memory, and we'll all actually be able to use them.

Here's a full map of all the current locations.

via Nice Ride
Nice Ride's locations as of spring 2013. Click to enlarge.

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CinBlueland topcommenter

Over $700k in federal and local tax dollars when we are making cuts to HHS.  Someone really needs to figure out how to spend on Needs before Wants. 

I've got nothing against riding bikes, but if it were as successful as portrayed, why do they need any tax dollars?

<let the down votes begin>

Joe Strom
Joe Strom

Shane, you we're riding them around DT Saint Paul on my bachelor party

Joe Strom
Joe Strom

Del, Cody, and Dan are excited for these.

Drewey topcommenter

@CinBlueland Buses cost money, lets get rid of those too.  Same with roads, if they can't make money then away with them.  While we're at it, I'm sick of those pesky hospitals costing money too.  Police and fire...gone until they can turn a profit.  Shit cost money.  Start bitching about the money we piss away on making sure the ultra rich feel appreciated and maybe you'll have a more interested audience.  


@CinBlueland Someone needs to learn how tax dollars are allocated!

CinBlueland topcommenter

@Drewey @CinBlueland Thank you Drewey for throwing up the usual strawman arguments.  Lets go down the list here. Road = Needed commerce, public good. Hospitals = Needed, Police/Fire = Needed. Buses = Public good/for those that can't drive.. 

Where did I say anything about paying for the ultra rich to go play golf with Obama and Tiger Woods?

Now look back at what I wrote, Needs vs Wants.. Wouldn't 700k be better spent on homeless shelters? Early child education? more Police and or Fire? Or even better, lets return it to the tax payers so they can determine if they want to buy a bike, food or bus pass?

Drewey topcommenter

@CinBlueland @Drewey I use the strawman arguments because it's what you seem to understand.  When you're done determining everyone elses wants vs needs please let us know.  This is a tough conversation to have with a person like you because you don't seem to understand the value of a livable city.  Nor do you seem to understand how tax dollars are allocated.  I assure you that the 630K from the National Parks service wont be going to HHS or anything other than another parks program.  As for the 90k from hennepin county...I don't mind 50 cents of my property taxes going for quality of life amenities.  You also seem to struggle with the concept of growing an entity or business.  If every company that ever started had to be profitable immediately or shut its doors where would we be?  Again, I ask you, do you share the same outrage for the hundreds of billions of dollars that are stolen from the American taxpayer for the sake of corporate greed?  I'm sick of having to justify quality of life items because we can't afford both. 

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