Mac just keeps getting greener. The latest fuel-saving innovation, instituted this summer, is to add a station for the Twin Cities public bike-sharing program Nice Ride. The program started last year in Minneapolis, where it enjoyed great success and only lost two bikes.
For a $60 membership ($30 for students) or a $5 daily membership, you can check out a bike from any station, use it for an errand or exercise, then return it to that station or one closer to your destination. Small trip fees are charged only if a bike is out for more than 30 minutes.
High Winds Fund, the Mac community relations program, gave Nice Ride a $30,000 grant to make the Grand Avenue station a reality. The Nice Ride bicycles are located in the same transit hub—between Snelling and Fairview Avenues—that holds the Hour Cars. “This is the busiest Hour Car hub in the Twin Cities and we expect similar success for Nice Ride,” says High Winds director Tom Welna.
By summer’s end there will be stations from the Mississippi River to Victoria Street, and in 2012 Nice Ride plans to add stations to downtown St. Paul. Sustainability coordinator Suzanne Savanick Hansen expects staff to use the bikes mostly for errands and students to put them to many uses, including one-way trips to Minneapolis evening events.