Baseball will be back Monday as the Minnesota Twins kickoff the 2017 season with a game at Target Field, but that's not the only season opener on the calendar that day.
The folks at Nice Ride Minnesota are getting their 1,700 shiny green bikes out of storage and plan to have them available for riding by Monday, according to an announcement on its Facebook page.
"Nice Ride Minnesota is excited to announce our 8th successful season! Bikes hit the road April 3, providing more fun ways to get from A to B. Let's ride, it's Nice Ride season," the organization wrote.
It also announced the following rates for the new riding season:
- Single rides will be charged at $3 per half hour from the time the bike leaves the station.
- Usage fees of $3 per half hour will be charged for all rides over 60 minutes for riders with memberships and 30 minutes for those with 24 hour passes.
- $6 for a 24-hour pass (each ride can last 30 minutes)
- $18 for 30-day membership (each ride can last 60 minutes)
- $75 for 1-year membership (each ride can last 60 minutes)
Finding a bike or station got a lot easier last year when Nice Ride launched its Nice Ride Share app - available free from Apple iTunes and the Google Play Store. And just as the 2016 season wrapped up, it also made information available on the popular app called Transit.
Users of that app can reserve and pay for a Nice Ride bike and plan trips that come with step-by-step directions using other modes of public transportation, including ride sharing, buses, light-rail and other forms of transit "so users can determine the best way to get from A to B," Nice Ride's website says.
The 2017 season begins as bikeshare programs are rapidly expanding. There are now 55 bike-share programs in the United States offering a total of more than 42,000 bikes, according to the National Association of City Transportation Officials, which released a report on bikesharing use earlier this month. In 2016, riders took more than 28 million trips, on par with the annual ridership of the entire Amtrak system, and higher than the number of people visiting Walt Disney World each year, the association said.
Since 2010, riders made more than 88 million trips made on a bike share bike, the association said.
The country's largest systems generate the vast majority of all bike share rides, with the five biggest systems (Citi Bike in New York, Capital Bikeshare in Greater Washington DC, Citi Bike in Miami, Divvy in Chicago, and Hubway in Greater Boston) generating 85% of all bike share trips.
Nice Ride reported in November that 432,284 trips were taken last year on the system.