Nice Ride Minnesota's 2019 proposals include ebikes, expanded equity

February 07, 2019 10:29 PM

The Nice Rides may have been put away for the season, but the bike share program already has big plans for warmer weather.

On Thursday, Bill Dossett, the executive director of the non-profit Nice Ride Minnesota, presented this year's proposals to the public - including ebikes.

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RELATED: Lyft acquires Nice Ride parent company

"This is an electric pedal assist," he said. "So it doesn't have a throttle. You have to pedal it. When you get to a hill, that electric assist will kick in." 

Dossett's goal is to introduce 500 in April. And if the pilot goes well, the plan is to introduce 1,300 more by July through a partnership with Lyft and Motivate. 

RELATED: Nationwide bike share company takes over Nice Ride Minnesota operations

Eventually, the ebikes would make up half of the entire fleet.

"The consumers want electric bikes," Dossett said. "They want electric scooters. They want electric micro-mobility." 

They're also adding dozens of stations all over Minneapolis, including twenty in North Minneapolis, the Phillips Neighborhood and Cedar-Riverside.

"We have to make equity a key part of whatever we do," Dossett said. "It's absolutely critical that any transportation service that is part of what we're doing in the city is available to everyone."

There is also a proposal to add a reduced fare membership program to make ride share more affordable for everyone.

"People are going to be able to take longer rides, and they're going to be able to do it at a very low price," Dossett said. 

Nice Ride will present its proposals to the Minneapolis City Council in early March. 
Cyclists say they are happy to have them.

"Having companies like Nice Ride here for people who don't have a bike, or just want one for an hour or two, I think it's a great move," said Noah Kreider-Carlson, a cyclist from Minneapolis. 
 

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Brett Hoffland

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