Bike Share

Roads - Rails - Sidewalks - Bikeways
mulad
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Re: Nice Ride Minnesota

Postby mulad » April 4th, 2014, 6:34 pm

Oh, I'll add another post for some other news I've seen. It sounds like the system infill/expansion will be more modest this year, likely because of the issues surrounding the equipment manufacturer (PBSC of Montreal). I haven't seen details on that yet, though.

Nice Ride also recently put up a job posting related to their satellite system pilot in Bemidji. The posting says the job starts May 1st, so the pilot itself probably starts a bit after that (maybe in June like some of the previous startups/expansions?)

ECtransplant
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Re: Nice Ride Minnesota

Postby ECtransplant » April 4th, 2014, 7:37 pm

Are there going to be any new Minneapolis stations in 2014?

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Re: Nice Ride Minnesota

Postby Matt » April 4th, 2014, 9:41 pm

mulad wrote: Members who carry Nice Ride keys are now able to have free trips for up to 60 minutes
This is awesome!

mulad
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Re: Nice Ride Minnesota

Postby mulad » April 12th, 2014, 6:25 pm

Looks like the system is up and running now, though they still seem to be in the process of populating stations. One significant new one to me is a station at Como Park, at the lakeside pavilion. Unfortunately, even though I live adjacent to the park, it turns out to be a mile away from me. Oh well.

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FISHMANPET
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Re: Nice Ride Minnesota

Postby FISHMANPET » May 6th, 2014, 9:31 am

If you want to get a free 30 day subscription to Nice Ride, today's the day:
https://www.niceridemn.org/news/2014/05 ... ay_may_6th

twincitizen
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Re: Nice Ride Minnesota

Postby twincitizen » November 3rd, 2014, 10:08 am

http://www.startribune.com/local/minnea ... 48121.html
Nice Ride Minnesota, the popular bike-sharing program that for five years has put its lime-green bikes on city streets, notched another record year in 2014, a spokesman said.

With the season set to close at 10 p.m. Sunday, ridership was up by about one-third from a year ago, with a projected 409,000 trips compared with about 305,000 in 2013...

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Re: Nice Ride Minnesota

Postby bubzki2 » November 3rd, 2014, 11:17 am

Does anyone know if the lack of station expansion was due to the bankruptcy of the bike or station manufacturer? I was surprised they didn't add new stations this year, but that is quite an impressive year over year change in ridership, regardless!

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Re: Nice Ride Minnesota

Postby mulad » November 3rd, 2014, 11:56 am

That was my impression -- a few other systems around the country pointed to PBSC's bankruptcy as a reason why they didn't expand this year, though I don't recall if the Nice Ride folks specifically mentioned it. The CitiBike system in NYC recently announced plans for significant expansion, which gives me hope that the manufacturing issues are being sorted out, though it's not entirely clear if the bikes are brand-new or had been sitting around in a warehouse somewhere. Alta Bicycle Share, which operates many of the networks of PBSC-made bikes across North America, is also going through bankruptcy. The company is being relocated to NYC as it gets restructured and bought up by another company (Bikeshare Holdings), and the NYT article says that the new guy heading the company is "bringing about 6,000 new bikes with him", so I guess they may have been in the possession of Alta already.

The manufacturer's website is still alive, but I don't see much evidence of it being updated recently -- the "News" section only lists one article from this year, and it's in French.

CitiBike's yearly subscription rates are being hiked significantly this coming year, to $149, and CitiBank is putting more than $70 million into the program. In January, PBSC had a debt of about $50 million (Canadian).

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Re: Nice Ride Minnesota

Postby PhilmerPhil » January 22nd, 2015, 4:11 pm

Any idea if Nice Ride will be able to expand this year? As discussed above, they ran into issues that prevented them from expanding as they had hoped to due to supplier issues. I wonder if that's been resolved.

I'm really hoping the 36th and Lyndale station gets replaced with a return of the 36th and Bryant station AND a Painter Park station. Also, stations at 35th/38th and Nicollet seem like logical next steps.

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Re: Nice Ride Minnesota

Postby bubzki2 » January 22nd, 2015, 4:19 pm

Just based on the absence of news really of any kind lately, my uneducated guess is that there are still issues going on behind the scenes. I sincerely hope that manufacturer can either get its act together, or they can sell their tooling and IP to somehow who can. The fact that the system did so well last year despite a lack of new stations has to be noteworthy. Probably also helped with the financial bottom line - less for fixed costs.

matt91486
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Re: Nice Ride Minnesota

Postby matt91486 » March 25th, 2015, 11:29 am

PhilmerPhil wrote:Any idea if Nice Ride will be able to expand this year? As discussed above, they ran into issues that prevented them from expanding as they had hoped to due to supplier issues. I wonder if that's been resolved.

I'm really hoping the 36th and Lyndale station gets replaced with a return of the 36th and Bryant station AND a Painter Park station. Also, stations at 35th/38th and Nicollet seem like logical next steps.
So they announced 20 new stations - do we have any indication of if they're going to do infill (What they probably should do) or expand to a new neighborhood(s) (what they probably will do)?

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Re: Nice Ride Minnesota

Postby bubzki2 » March 25th, 2015, 12:08 pm

Considering how sparse the details they let out were, my guess is they don't know or haven't decided yet. Mid-season roll-out also seems suspicious to me. Bankruptcy issues may still loom.

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Re: Nice Ride Minnesota

Postby mulad » March 25th, 2015, 2:48 pm

They have always made mid-season expansions in past years. It's not unusual at all for them.

I had asked about the manufacturer, PBSC, and it turned out that the company had been bought late last year by a Canadian real-estate developer named Bruno Rodi.

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Re: Nice Ride Minnesota

Postby PhilmerPhil » March 25th, 2015, 3:31 pm

I've been begging for a station at Painter Park, which isn't happening this year, but I did get this info about the new stations:

"Most of the new stations were funded by the National Park Service and are required to be within 1/4 mile of the MNRRA and north of St. Anthony Falls. Those will all be in downtown, the North Loop, and Northeast Minneapolis with a couple near the U of M."

So it sounds like we'll be getting more recreational stations again, and less "inspansion" like they wanted to do a couple years ago. There are some serious gaps in the existing network that really need to be filled in. I'd like some stations in denser residential areas, for example residents of north Whittier could probably really use a station at 24th and Pleasant. I have friends that live near 18th and 3rd Ave S in Stevens Square, and the Nicollet and Franklin station is quite a hike for them, which really takes away from Nice Ride's utility and convenience.

Also some station locations could really use some tweaking. The one on Minnehaha Pkwy near Cedar should be right at Cedar Ave, not isolated in the middle of the park/parking lot. Franklin and Lake St along the Blue Line should have Nice Ride stations at the foot of the transit stations, not several blocks away.

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Re: Nice Ride Minnesota

Postby MNdible » March 25th, 2015, 3:55 pm

Re: Putting stations near where a lot of people live.

Don't we assume that most people have their own bikes at their houses/apartments, and that those bikes are probably lighter/easier to ride than the NiceRides? I guess I've always thought that NiceRides are most effective in locations where people find themselves without easy access to their own bikes, but would like to ride one.

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Re: Nice Ride Minnesota

Postby RailBaronYarr » March 25th, 2015, 8:02 pm

I don't know, I kinda treat Nice Ride as a Car2Go alternative in the spring/summer/fall. When I'm meeting friends just after buses stop running frequently enough or in a place that would require a crappy transfer. Or busing there and getting around and going home by NR when buses are even more infrequent. Also, their weight/top speed make me feel much more comfortable riding without a helmet than with my regular bike. Tough to explain why since I could just ride slow on my own bike.

Maybe I'm in the minority and the system is targeted at quick jaunts in downtown/entertainment/park areas for people who want to get somewhere a mile away. But it seems worthwhile to put them where people live for actual transportation, too.

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Re: Nice Ride Minnesota

Postby PhilmerPhil » March 25th, 2015, 8:06 pm

I often hear that from friends. "I have a bike, so I don't need Nice Ride."

It's really not an either/or situation. I use both my regular bike and Nice Rides equally as part of a multimodal lifestyle. Sometimes I'm tired or it's raining in the morning, so I'll take the bus to work, and when I get off, full of energy with the sun shining, I'm not kicking myself for leaving my bike at home. Or I need to grab some groceries, so I'll take a Nice Ride to the store and Car2go back. Or I'm meeting up with friends and we end up driving somewhere, I don't have to figure out what to do with my bike or depend on a ride home. Or my wife and I want to go for a long walk and grab some dinner, we can just hop on Nice Rides if we wanna get home fast. Or my bike is getting fixed, I have a free ride home and use of a bike while mine is being worked on. Or I'm going skateboarding and Nice Ride bike racks happen to fit a skateboard perfectly.*

Sorry for the long list of examples, but while these situations may seem rare, but I find myself using Nice Ride multiple times a week (~20 trips/month) in addition to my own bike. They really complement walking, Car2go, biking and transit.

*That example applies to only a handful. ;)

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Re: Nice Ride Minnesota

Postby Silophant » March 25th, 2015, 8:38 pm

^My Nice Ride usage is pretty much like that, and I agree with RBY that it feels safer to be helmetless on a Nice Ride than on my own bike. Maybe because, though I could choose to go slowly on my bike, I have to go slowly on a Nice Ride?

Also, Fargo has set up a bikeshare, with 11 stations on the NDSU campus and downtown. It seems strange to envy Fargo about anything, but I really wish we could use nice walletable cards like they are instead of the ginormous plastic key fobs we have. I'm sure it would be prohibitively expensive to switch over, though.

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Re: Nice Ride Minnesota

Postby twincitizen » March 26th, 2015, 7:03 am

I haven't had a NiceRide subscription since 2012 (last year at the U), but I'd say my usage was sort of in the middle of MNdible's assumption and Phil's "lifestyle" ;)

If starting a trip from home, I'm likely to use my own bike. If I took a bus downtown or to campus, etc., I'm likely to use a NiceRide to get around within those areas and for the trip home too. For my current usage levels, the price is a bit too high for me. I'd probably subscribe "just for fun" and to feel good about supporting the system if it was like $40/year, regardless of usage. Or if it was available more than 7 months, I'd maybe spring for the $65 or whatever it is now.

Another possible reason for a superfluous subscription would be so that a visiting friend or relative has easy access to a bike. You have your own, and you have the NiceRide subscription ready to go for a buddy (or a date!)

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Re: Nice Ride Minnesota

Postby RailBaronYarr » March 26th, 2015, 7:14 am

The buddy use is a good example - my mother in law visits quite often and this summer we plan on taking trips down to Minnehaha Falls for the afternoon/etc and having a "third" bike on hand is nice.


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