Reporting Chris Simon
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Starting Tuesday, bike rental kiosks are going up for the third straight season in and around downtown Minneapolis.
When Minneapolis started the “Nice Rides” rental program two years ago, it was the first in the nation. There were critics who wondered aloud how the system would pay for itself, and how the organization would keep the bikes from getting stolen.
Today it begins its third season. It’s not just popular in the Twin Cities, it’s now sparking copy-cat programs all across the nation. not only popular, but according to Bill Dossett, executive director of “Nice Rides,” the program has sparked copy-cats nationwide.
“There were lots of concerns over safety, or whether the bikes would be stolen or vandalized. We’ve demonstrated that this works and today as a result cities across the country including New York City, San Francisco and Chicago are all launching systems and following our lead,” said Bill Dossett, the executive director for “Nice Ride.”
Mayor R.T. Rybak joined Dossett in taking one of the first rides of the season, and announcing that some 1,000 light lime green bikes will be for rental this season. They were also happy to announce the Minneapolis Bike Walk Ambassador program, which will host more than 40 rides, walks and classes this spring and summer.
The sessions are aimed at getting city dwellers back on their backs on the city’s numerous trails.