If you’ve been out and about in Minneapolis recently, you might have noticed a few funky neon green and blue bikes zipping around the lakes or downtown. That’s because Nice Ride Minnesota, a bicycle rental program that will allow subscribers to rent a bicycle for short periods from self-service kiosks, kicked off its first phase last week.
Sociology professor Lars Christiansen, who is a member of the Nice Ride board of directors, helped initiate the Nice Ride program at the opening event held Thursday, June 10 in downtown Minneapolis. Our own Auggie Eagle [shown giving a high five to Christensen] was also present at the opening to try out the bikes and to support riders who coasted down Nicollet Mall at the lunch hour.
Christiansen says, “Nice Ride adds another important layer to increasing transportation choices for Minneapolitan residents, workers, and visitors to the Twin Cities.” He adds that if short trips between work and the grocery store, or home and the theater or a local restaurant, can be taken by bicycle instead of an automobile, there will be benefits for the health of the city and its residents.
“But more important to me is that Nice Ride is providing another way to explore the city, to take it in, to interact with one another more directly, and to have more fun. There is an aesthetic and even sensual experience in crossing the Stone Arch Bridge on bicycle and riding downtown under your own power in the presence of our magnificent architecture and the cultural events that make Minneapolis an extraordinary place to live and study. Augsburg’s involvement demonstrates the College’s continuing commitment to the city, its people, and a healthier built environment.”
After a busy weekend of assembling stations and bicycles, 46 stations are currently open with a total of 350 bikes on the streets. Nice Ride will bring 1,000 bikes and 75 kiosks into the city of Minneapolis in its first phase, with a kiosk located at Augsburg on Riverside Avenue in front of the ice arena entrance.
For a subscription price and a trip mileage fee, riders can rent a bike and then return it to any kiosk in the city. In addition to 24-hour subscriptions, riders can subscribe for 30 days or a year, and student rates are also available.
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