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TMCNet:  Orange is the New Green In Bemidji, Minnesota

[June 18, 2014]

Orange is the New Green In Bemidji, Minnesota

MINNEAPOLIS --(Business Wire)--

Nice Ride Minnesota (Nice Ride) is launching orange bikes in Bemidji with a pilot program to increase access to bikes in Minnesota cities and towns outside of the metropolitan area of Minneapolis and St. Paul.

In 2010, Nice Ride launched its green bikes in Minneapolis as the nation's largest nonprofit public bike sharing program and since then has been a model for urban bike share programs across the country. In addition to fostering active and healthy lifestyles, Nice Ride has helped create a new vitality in the downtown area. The Bemidji pilot, designed for a small city, is a bike rental and outreach program operated through staffed locations with an online reservations system. By increasing access to bikes in small cities, Nice Ride will help create vibrant town centers throughout Minnesota.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, which has provided funding to Nice Ride through its Center for Prevention since 2009, is also the title sponsor of the Bemidji expansion pilot. "Blue Cross is proud to support Nice Ride in expanding bike sharing beyond the Twin (News - Alert) Cities, making this fun and healthy transportation option available to people who live in and visit Bemdji," said Mike Guyette, president and CEO of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota.


"Bemidji is a place where bike lanes, trails and businesses welcome cyclists," said Tony Desnick, director of Greater Minnesota strategies for Nice Ride Minnesota. "With more bikes rolling around town, Nice Ride will enhance the vitality of downtown Bemidji and introduce more people to active, healthy lifestyles."

Nice Ride bikes will be available at four Bemidji locations and can be rented for one hour for $6 to one week for $80. Half-day and full-day rates are available. Bemidji residents will be able use the bikes at discounted rates during weekdays. Nice Ride will install 100 bikes at Bemidji State University for students to lease for an entire semester at discounted rates. When in Bemidji, Twin Cities Nice Ride members will receive a 20 percent discount off of regular rental rates.

A four-day, 200-mile bike ride will kick off the Minnesota expansion. Riders on new orange Nice Ride bikes will depart from Big Lake on June 19 and on June 22 roll in to Bemidji near the end of the 112-mile Paul Bunyan Trail. At 2:30 p.m. Bemidji Mayor Rita Albrecht will host a ceremonial rally at the Bemidji Tourist Information Center in front of Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox landmark statues. Joining Mayor Albrecht will be Guyette, representatives of the Bemidji Chamber of Commerce and Bemidji State University as well as Desnick and Bill Dossett, executive director of Nice Ride.

For more information please go to http://bemidji.niceridemn.org/.

About Nice Ride Minnesota
Launched in 2010, Nice Ride Minnesota is the nonprofit organization that operates the Twin Cities bike sharing system. Our mission is to enhance the quality of our urban life by providing a convenient, easy-to-use bike sharing program that will provide residents and visitors a healthy, fun, and reliable way to get around town. We are part of a growing community of people and organizations working for active lifestyles, vibrant cities, and livable public spaces. We're helping build that community by making it easy for everyone to ride a bike and to feel safe and welcome while riding. www.niceridemn.org


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