According to Bicycling Magazine, Minneapolis ranks as America’s most bike-friendly city. Also, the city was ranked as a “Bicycle Friendly Community” by the League of American Cyclists.
At present, about 45,000 Minneapolis resident regularly cycle to work by utilizing 123 miles of bikeways. To accommodate these cyclists, all Metro Transit buses have been equipped with bike racks and 40 miles of new bikeways being built.
Also, the city has implemented Nice Ride, a bike sharing program created via the Twin Cities Bike Share Project, an initiative begun July 2008. Bikes are located at Nice Ride facilities positioned throughout the city available for public use. These bikes are designed for taking short trips in the city so that people wearing non-sporting gear and carrying work related items such as briefcases can easily use these bikes. All Nice Ride Bikes are the same size with the seats being adjustable if need be.
The cost to use this system is the combination of the subscription, plus trip fees. A subscription starts at $5.00 for 24-hours (A $50.00 deposit is required) up to $60.00 for a year-long subscription. There is no trip fee for trips up to 30 minutes with trips up to 60 minutes costing $1.50, up to 90 minutes $4.50. Each additional half hour is $6.00. To save money return the bike to a Nice Ride station within a 30 minute period and pick up another bike. This way you will and only be charged the subscription fee. All Subscriptions and fees will be subject to a 7.775% sales tax. The 24 hour subscriptions are purchased using a credit card at the pay station that can be found at each Nice Ride station while 1 year or 30-day subscriptions can be purchased online.
After paying for the subscription, riders of the 24 hour subscription will be given an unlocking code at each station that will enable them to access a bike while 20 day and 1 year subscribers will get a key.
To access the bike, just enter the unlocking code or insert the key in the locking dock of an available bike. A green light will come on signifying that the bike is unlocked. By pulling the handlebars toward the rider, the bike will be released. Upon returning the bike, push it into the dock. A green light will come on again noting that the bike is now locked. If one tries to return a bike at a station and there are no free racks available, one can get an additional 15 free minutes from the pay station in order to bike over to the nearest bike station. Call customer service at 1-877-551-6423 with any problems renting or returning bikes.
One can use Nice Ride bicycles 24/7 days starting in April and ending in November. Helmets are not required but recommended. Those needing a helmet can get a 20% discount off Trek helmets from Freewheel Bike (http://freewheelbike.com).