Sunday, April 19, 2009

NiceRide Bike-Share Wants Community Input

It's in the works. Bike sharing is coming to Minneapolis, next Spring. What will it look like and how will it work? From what I have read, there will be 1000 bikes placed at 75 kiosks around the U, downtown and uptown. People with memberships will be able to use a credit card to get a bike that they can use for short trips around the city. It's being tried in cities around the world and I'm happy that it is coming to Minneapolis. It is transforming other cities and I'd like to see that happen here. Get people on bikes and their perspective changes. Change their perspective and our city changes.

Want to learn more about it, get involved, or just put your 2 cents in. NiceRide is having 4 "community input workshops" later this month. I plan on attending one of them, because I'd like to see this thing work and I have many questions about what they are doing to make it a success. This program isn't a guaranteed success or for that matter, a failure. How they set it up, promote it and sustain it, will go along way in determining how well it does.

Picture courtesy Lilia of Velo Vogue.
From what I have heard, the Paris(See how it works at Velo Vogue) and Barcelona bike-sharing programs are successes at this point. I myself have a lot of questions to ask. What is this program doing to model the successes of other cities and avoid potential problems? NiceRide is relying on Federal funding and user fees. Is it smart to rely on government funding and will the $50/ year user fee, deter use? Where will the stations be and how will they get right of way? And the list goes on... and on. So if you're not too busy on April 30th or May 1st, come to one of these workshops and see what it's all about. And if you come early, they are doing a bike tour to scout station locations. For more info on Bike-sharing around the world, check out The Bike-sharing Blog. Velo Vogue also has several blogs with great photo's of the nuts and bolts of the Parisian bike-sharing program Velib.


2whls3spds said...

I'm not community...but I visit fairly regularly. They need to make it available to visitors/tourists if at all possible. I have flown in to MSP and not had access to a bike. Not fun IMHO. I have ridden the ABCE Tour and plan to do it again, but it is a pain to transport a bicycle halfway across the country for a long weekend non event trip.


spiderleggreen said...

They will be available to people with credit cards, on a daily basis($5) in the mid-section of Mpls. I don't know how much it would cost to use on for the whole day, because these are meant for short trips(1/2 hour to and hour) between places. You could hop off the the Light Rail and bike to your hotel, if you're staying in one. We'll have to see how it works.

I'd would also consider borrowing you my Schwinn (Harvey) or one of my other bikes. Can't have a cyclist in town, without a bicycle. Fish out of water.

The Jolly Crank said...

I have some questions about the program, too. I'm hoping that if the $50 fee doesn't deter use it will deter abuse...
I'm still not confident that this program will work, but am willing to keep my mouth shut and mind open until it has a chance to run a bit.
Recently I had some friends visit from out of town and although it is a kind of wealth to have more friends than bicycles, it did present a problem for touring the city. This bike share would have been an elegant solution.