The green Nice Ride bikes will head back to the garage in six weeks, but next spring will bring more expansion of the bike-sharing program.
New stations are planned for the light-rail corridor between Lake Street and Minnehaha Park in Minneapolis, said Nice Ride executive director Bill Dossett. That expansion will be funded primarily by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota and the National Park Service, in connection with its Mississippi National River and Recreation Area.
Nice Ride's third season will end Nov. 4. This year, with an expansion into downtown St. Paul as well as around Harriet Island and the State Capitol, the program had nearly 1,300 bikes in 145 stations in Minneapolis and St. Paul. Nice Ride began in 2010 in Minneapolis with 700 bikes in 65 stations. Average use in 2010 was 700 trips per day; this year it was about 1,400, Dossett said.
One bike went missing the first year and it was later recovered. Last year all were accounted for. This year three or four are missing, but Dossett expects them to turn up.