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With Nice Ride, bike-sharing in the Twin Cities goes from zero to 700 overnight

The Twin Cities' stock of publicly shared bicycles goes up on June 10 from zero to 700. That's the number of bikes on the streets for the launch of Nice Ride Minnesota, a new bike-share system that's already an overnight sensation: It instantly becomes the nation's largest.

The Nice Ride bikes are available for rent from 75 kiosks around Minneapolis. A future phase will see that number grow further as the program expands into St. Paul.

The goal, says Nice Ride Minnesota executive director Bill Dossett, is simple: "To make it easy for more people to use a bike during the day."

The Nice Ride organization has been preparing for the big day with twin efforts, both massive. Programming and construction of rental kiosks was underway at Sieco Construction in the Seward neighborhood, while assembly of Nice Ride's fleet of bikes took place at Freewheel Bike, which has locations on the West Bank and along the Midtown Greenway.

Bike stations are in the city's busiest, densest places, from Uptown to Dinkytown--not, Dossett, says, in areas dominated by single-family homes.

Asked to name a sign that the program is a success (a little old lady on a Nice Ride bike, perhaps?), Dossett demurs. "It's one small piece of something that is a lot bigger than us," he says. "It's already going on." People are changing the way they move around the Twin Cities, says Dossett, and using a bike-share system is simply a part of that.

Source: Bill Dossett, Nice Ride Minnesota
Writer: Chris Steller
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