Nice Ride MN expands to Downtown Saint Paul
Latest expansion brings a total of 146 stations, 1,328 bikes to the Twin Cities
Today, Mayor Chris Coleman joined leaders from public and private organizations representing parks, health care, government, and business today on a bike ride from the Landmark Plaza to Harriet Island in Saint Paul to celebrate the expansion of Nice Ride Minnesota throughout the city, including Downtown and along the river.
“Nice Ride is truly an asset to the vitality of this region, and I’m thrilled about all the new stations in Saint Paul,” Mayor Chris Coleman said. “These bikes aren’t just a great way to connect Saint Paul and Minneapolis; they are a great way to get to work, a great way to get to businesses, especially those along the Central Corridor, and an easy and fun way to stay healthy. Thanks to all partners who made this expansion possible.”
The expansion includes 26 new stations in Saint Paul, bringing the total number of Saint Paul stations to 48. Nice Ride Minnesota released a map revealing all new station locations and began installing stations in May. Installation should be completed by June 7, 2012, in time for Bike Walk to Work Day, bringing the total number to 146 stations and 1,328 shiny green bikes available to ride across the Twin Cities this summer.
Nice Ride Minnesota is a local nonprofit primarily supported through a variety of public funding sources and its title sponsor Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota. Nice Ride Minnesota also receives operating support from more than 25 local businesses and through membership sales. The downtown Saint Paul expansion was funded through public-private partnerships, including $480,000 from the National Park Service, $300,000 from Blue Cross, $100,000 from the Central Corridor Funders Collaborative, and $100,000 from the Minnesota Department of Transportation.
“The National Park Service is extremely pleased to partner with Nice Ride Minnesota, Blue Cross Blue Shield, the City of Saint Paul and others to launch the bike share system in Saint Paul,” said Superintendent Paul Labovitz of the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area. “It will increase non-motorized access to the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area, providing visitors and residents the opportunity to get to this great river without a car.”
“Blue Cross has been supporting Nice Ride from the very first day it launched in 2010," said Ken Burdick, president and CEO of Blue Cross, a title sponsor of Nice Ride since its inception. “Our support continues because Blue Cross believes bike sharing is a perfect example of the transformative changes needed to improve health and help prevent diseases caused by lack of physical activity. I'm excited to be cheering on Nice Ride today, as it expands to downtown Saint Paul and provides even more people with access to this fun and innovative service.”
“The Minnesota Department of Transportation is committed to designing, building and operating a sustainable transportation system for all users, including commuter and recreational bicyclists,” said MnDOT Commissioner Tom Sorel. “Supporting Nice Ride helps demonstrate that commitment.”
The Lowertown Future Fund, McNally Smith College of Music, and the Hiway Federal Credit Union are some of the new station sponsors making the Downtown Saint Paul expansion possible.
To see a map of the new stations or to learn more about Nice Ride Minnesota, visit www.niceridemn.org.