Revised "Nice Ride" Starts in Rochester

September 11, 2018 06:00 PM

ABC 6 News -- Bright orange bikes will be back on the streets of Rochester.

You may have noticed their absence this summer after "Nice Ride MN" stopped operating in the Med City.


Thanks to a collaborative effort between the city of Rochester, DMC, Experience Rochester, Mayo Clinic, Olmsted County Public Health and the Rochester Public Library, the bike sharing program is back up and riding.

Nice Ride MN, a company based out of the Twin Cities, started in Rochester in the summer of 2016.

“And [Nice Ride MN] was operating a fee-based bike share program,” said Paul Widman, the director of Rochester Parks and Recreation. “I think it was based on about a $6 to $8 initial fee. With e-Bikes and scooters and dockless systems, they [Nice Ride MN] really had to regroup and focus on that side of the industry.

Nice Ride MN obtained the bikes through grants and in turn, donated the bikes to the city of Rochester.

The goal is to have 40 bikes back in the community this fall.

We are going to keep it going, weather permitting, and we are going to relaunch in the spring,” said Widman.

The best part … the ride sharing program will be free.

“We wanted to offer it for free just to see what the demand would be,” said Widman.

The bikes will be available at the following locations:

-Home2 Suites (831 16th Street SW)

-Fairfield Inn and Suites (470 17th Ave NW)

-Peace Plaza

-Rochester Public Library

-City of Rochester & Olmsted County

“This is new for us. We are very excited for this opportunity,” said Keri Ostby, the head of technical services for Rochester Public Library. “We are hoping it encourages people to be active.”

The goal is to get people thinking about different ways of getting around town, especially when there is heavy traffic and parking space shortages downtown.

All you need to borrow a bike is a government-issued ID.

“Fill out a waiver form and we will get you set up with the bikes,” said Ostby.

Waivers are available at each location, and bikes must be returned to the same location they are borrowed from before the end of the workday.


Hannah Tiede

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