Nice Ride Minnesota secures major funding for expansion
More lime green bikes coming to a neighborhood near you.
Nice Ride Minnesota, the bike share program that launched last June, is about to get a lot bigger.
Thanks to a just-announced major infusion of cash, the program is ready to start implementing its Phase 2 expansion.
- $1 million came from Transit for Livable Communities, which administers the $25 million federal Nonmotorized Transportation Pilot Program.
- $500,000 came from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, part of a challenge pledge last fall that will ultimately deliver $1.5 million.
- $250,000 came from the Central Corridor Funders Collaborative, a group of local and national foundations trying to build community around the Central Corridor light rail project.
- $30,000 came from the the High Winds Fund, which invests in the community surrounding Macalester College.
The original Nice Ride launch map. It's just the start.
Nice Ride launched last June with 700 bikes at 65 stations mostly in and around downtown Minneapolis, and the neighborhoods south to Lake Street and Uptown. Expansion plans published in December call for additional stations in North, Northeast, South and Southwest Minneapolis. Stations are also planned for the Central Corridor neighborhoods, stretching into St. Paul.
The program has proved hugely popular -- so much so that neighborhoods around the city have been clamoring for inclusion in the expansion plans. Through the course of six workshops held around the Twin Cities last fall, Nice Ride officials logged 840 different location recommendations.
There's been a particularly strong push for setting up stations in North Minneapolis, where activists were vocally peeved that their neighborhoods were left out of the original launch of the program.
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