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Join Nice Ride for $5

By Tesha M. Christensen

Nice Ride Minnesota Executive Director Bill Dossett (front right) rides with Council Member Kevin Reich, chair of the Minneapolis City Council Public Works Committee, at the launch of the Nice Ride dockless system last September. The non-profit is now partnering with Lyft to offer pedal-assist ebikes, as well.

Things are changing fast for shared mobility in Minneapolis, and Nice Ride is working to keep up with its evolving users.

This summer, bicyclists had access to the original green docked bikes, new blue dockless bikes, scooters and pedal-assist ebikes, introduced in late July (see related story on page 3).

“Nice Ride Minnesota over the years has really attempted to ensure that the organization is community-centered,” remarked Nice Ride Minnesota Program Ambassador Alexis Pennie. “It has taken the collaboration of Nice Ride with many community partners – especially those focusing on community health outcomes in Black, Brown, and Indigenous communities.”

What do you appreciate about Nice Ride and in what ways does the company add value to the community?

Alexis: I appreciate the contributions and support the efforts that Nice Ride is making to curb greenhouse gas emissions, congestion, and increase people’s opportunities to be more physically active. 

Currently, the leading cause for death in the United States is heart disease. Studies show that cardiovascular exercise, such as biking, increases the heart rate, which in turn, strengthens your heart muscle, helps to manage weight, and lowers blood pressure. 

For all these reasons and more Nice Ride is bringing real value to our communities. 

Alexis Pennie

How is Nice Ride accessible?

Alexis: Nice Ride is fully aware not everyone has a smartphone or has access to a debit or credit card. 

As a result, Nice Ride has teamed up with Prepare + Prosper—a St. Paul-based organization aimed at increasing financial well-being for all through free tax assistance and financial services – to provide referrals to financially underserved members of the community for Fair and Responsible Banking (FAIR) products. 

Also, Nice Ride has always provided its annual members with a Nice Ride key which unlocks any of their bikes at a dock station and will continue that practice which allows people without smartphones to be able to access their bikes. The blue dockless bikes can only be obtained via smartphone. 

What are the benefits of biking?

Alexis: Biking is great for your physical health. Additionally, biking can help to reduce levels of cortisol in the body which is a stress hormone that may block regenerative, deep sleep. It also can positively affect brain serotonin which can improve your sleep cycles.

What has been the community reception to the introduction of scooters?

Alexis: The introduction of scooters has been well received by community members. I have heard critical feedback from community members concerning the storage of scooters when people are not using them and they are placed along the sidewalk. 

What are the benefits of Nice Ride?

Alexis: The benefits of using a Nice Ride bike or scooter compared to owning your own consist of affordability, that fact that you don’t have to maintain the bike or scooter, and [it] provides the flexibility to leave the bike or scooter just about anywhere in the designated system rather then having to lug your bike or scooter back and forth. 

Our members come from both communities of people whom do not own their own bikes and people who do own their own bikes. Some people like Nice Ride Bikes because it allows them to offer a bike to a friend or family member that do not own their own bikes so, that they can do a group ride.

What are you promoting this summer?

Alexis: Nice Ride Minnesota is at the Four Sisters Farmers Market every Thursday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. promoting Nice Ride for All, the new program announced earlier this summer, that will make discounts available to those enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or the Transit Assistance Program (TAP). Qualifying individuals may apply for Nice Ride for All online with their EBT or Metro Transit Go-To Card number. 

Anyone who registers for the program before the end of September will only pay $5 for their first year of membership. Enrollees will have access to unlimited 60-minute bikeshare rides throughout Minneapolis. 

 

Nice Ride launches new Ebike pilot in Minneapolis

For the first time, Minneapolis residents can supercharge their rides by trying out pedal-assist electric Nice Ride bicycles, Nice Ride leadership. Nice Ride launchd a pilot of 50 pedal-assist ebikes on July 29, 2019, helping bike share become more accessible to riders with diverse abilities and completing longer trips. The pilot comes at no additional cost to Nice Riders. 

“I am thrilled to see ebikes in the Nice Ride system for the first time,” said Bill Dossett, Nice Ride Minnesota executive director. “In other cities, ebikes have tripled the utilization of bike share and attracted thousands of new riders. These fifty bikes are just the beginning of a new era in fast, convenient, and fun transportation in Minneapolis.”

“We are proud to build upon Nice Ride’s legacy as a national bike share leader with this ebike pilot,” said Caroline Samponaro, head of bike, scooter and pedestrian policy at Lyft, the operator of Nice Ride. “The extra boost from ebikes makes it easier for more people to complete trips on two wheels rather than four, helping to make our streets more livable across Minneapolis. Along with our new Nice Ride for All equity program this year, Nice Riders are having the best season yet.”

Ebikes require less physical exertion and offer a sweat-free ride, making cycling a more attractive option for a wider range of trip types and individuals. By making longer trips easier, ebikes will also help shift travel patterns from cars to bikes – combating congestion, pollution and making Minneapolis a more livable city for all.

The new Nice Ride pedal-assist ebikes provide a boost when riders are pedaling, allowing riders to reach up to 18 mph — generally how fast a classic Nice Ride bike can travel — with less effort. The new ebikes can be ridden anywhere it is legal to operate a bicycle in Minneapolis and must be parked in the physical Nice Ride stations. 

Riders can turn on pedal assist by pressing the “power” button (located between the handlebars) for three seconds while the bike is stationary. They can be unlocked from a station using a code from the Nice Ride app or using a Nice Ride member key.

In May, Nice Ride announced its significant commitment to bike share equity and introduced a new discount program for low-income Minneapolis riders, Nice Ride for All. To sign up, individuals enrolled in SNAP (food assistance) or TAP (transit assistance) programs can visit niceridemn.com/nicerideforall and complete a simple online sign-up by entering their EBT or Go-To Card number.  

Nice Ride is offering a limited-time promotion for new enrollees of Nice Ride for All. To celebrate the launch of this program, individuals who sign up through September 2019 will pay only $5 for their entire first year of membership. The Nice Ride for All membership will traditionally cost $5 per month. Once enrolled, individuals have access to unlimited 60-minute bike share rides throughout Minneapolis.  

About Nice Ride

Launched in 2010, Nice Ride is the hometown bike sharing system of Minneapolis. Overseen by the non-profit Nice Ride Minnesota and now operated and powered by Lyft, Nice Ride’s mission is to enhance quality of life by providing convenient, easy to use bike sharing that will provide residents and visitors a healthy, fun, different way to get around town. We are part of a growing community of people and organizations working for active lifestyles, vibrant cities and livable public spaces. We’re helping build that community by making it easy for everyone to ride a bike and to feel safe and welcome while riding. 

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