BIXI Bike-Share Coming to the Twin Cities

Minneapolis will soon be home to another bike-share program called “Nice Ride Minnesota”, joining a handful of world cities in this innovative way to get urban dwellers on bicycles for sightseeing, errand-running and other uses. Roepke Public Relations was kind enough to share the following artist drawings and press release with us.

nice ride

Minneapolis Chooses BIXI as Bike Share Equipment Vendor

MINNEAPOLIS (Feb. 2, 2010) – Nice Ride Minnesota, a new non-profit created to bring public bike sharing to Minneapolis, today announced that it has chosen Public Bike System Company (PBSC), developer of the Montreal BIXI(tm) bike-share system, to supply bikes and kiosks to Minneapolis. BIXI launched its 5,000-bike system in Montreal last year to rave reviews.

Advanced bike-share systems have been operating in cities like Paris and Barcelona for several years now. The engineers at BIXI learned from the successes in these cities and built a bike share system that is elegant, rugged, and simple to use. Time Magazine recognized BIXI as one of the top inventions of 2008, right behind the Mars Rover.

The BIXI system enables an annual subscriber to take a bike from any kiosk with the swipe of a card and return it to any kiosk by simply pushing it into a dock, which locks automatically. The solar-powered system creates accountability: subscribers sign a user agreement online and the system keeps track of who has each bike at all times. The bikes are designed for short trips in the city, such as across downtown for an appointment or a quick trip to a local market, which in turn reduces pollution and congestion. The bikes are designed to be ridden by people wearing regular clothes and include full fenders, lights and a cargo rack.

Nice Ride Minnesota’s Phase 1 plan calls for 1,000 bikes in 80 kiosks throughout downtown, the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus and surrounding commercial districts. Nice Ride expects to have at least 65 of these kiosks in place when it launches Minneapolis’ bike share in June 2010.

Minneapolis joins Boston and London in selecting the BIXI equipment as the best for an urban bike-share system. Nice Ride Minnesota expects to finalize a contract with the PBSC very soon.

The primary funding sources for this purchase come from a Bike Walk Twin Cities (BWTC) grant and a Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota (Blue Cross) sponsorship using proceeds from its historic settlement with tobacco companies.

BWTC is a federally funded initiative to increase biking and walking and reduce driving in Minneapolis and neighboring communities. A program of Transit for Livable Communities, BWTC allocates funds to local governments for safer crosswalks, bike lanes, and other improvements, and works with organizations, businesses and residents on public education about biking and walking options.

Blue Cross’ commitment to promoting prevention and wellness is evident in its anti-smoking campaigns and efforts to fight obesity. The bike-share program will help people to be active and move more making it a strong complement to the Blue Cross do campaign, which encourages everyone to “groove your body every day.” Each bike will display the do message.

Nice Ride Minnesota has also received support from a diverse group of businesses. Target, Augsburg College, Grant Thornton, Abbott Northwestern Hospital, Dorsey & Whitney LLP, Seward Co-op, Wedge Co-op, Equal Exchange, Peace Coffee, Birchwood Cafe, DERO Bike Rack Co. and Aveda have all committed to sponsor Nice Ride bike-share kiosks.

For more information or to offer your support, contact Bill Dossett, Executive Director of Nice Ride Minnesota, at 612-747-4659.


Check out the Nice Ride Minnesota website for even more information and a rollout timeline.


  1. Raiyn

    It never ceases to amaze me how progressive my home state has gotten in my absence.
    Now if only I could convince my native Floridian girlfriend to move back there with me. (She’s scared of a proper MN winter.)

  2. Ghost Rider

    Raiyn, you’re from Minnesota? Did not know that…I spent a lot of time in Minneapolis as a kid, as my father is from there. My wife lived there for several years and has been trying to convince me to relocate there — and that I would survive an MN winter despite my deeply Southern upbringing.

  3. Iron_Man

    Ghost and Raiyn, you cold move up there and start up a blog for six months out of the year.

  4. Raiyn

    @ Ghost
    Ya sure you betcha. (No I don’t actually say that except in jest). I’d mentioned it before on other sites, but it’s a big ‘net. As for the winters: What you’d need to do is move up during the summer (which can be just as hot as FL) and allow yourself to acclimate gradually. I would NEVER suggest moving from FL to MN in winter – you’ll psyche yourself out and it’ll be the most miserable thing ever.

    I grew up on the Iron Range in what’s known as the Arrowhead region (that’s all I’m saying in public) so I can talk about severe winter conditions with some measure of authority (it’s usually 10 to 30 degrees colder with more snow than the Cities ever get)

    Not me man, I’d be out on a Pugsley or a studded tire Salsa Vaya (not out yet, but man I’d love to get my hands on one) depending on conditions.

  5. Ghost Rider

    Relocating in summer would definitely be the plan…

    I lived in Kansas as a kid, so I have experienced some brutal winter weather. That was a LONG time ago.

    Arrowhead region….that would be where the Arrowhead 135 is held, I suppose. Anyone want to field a team?

  6. Raiyn

    Time and money Ghost. Time and Money

  7. Rider

    This share a bike thing … it didn’t work out so well in Paris.

    Though the rides were popular, Paris lowlifes stole the bikes, trashed the bikes, etc.

    Is Minneapolis doing something different?

    I hope it works out — great addition to city life.

  8. Ghost Rider

    Oh, I disagree — the Velib system is wildly successful, with over 42 million uses as of May 2009. Yes, there have been problems with vandalism, theft, and some financial snafus, but the concept is sound. And there are still plenty of bikes available for use.

    We did an “insider’s look” on the Velib system last year:

    Those same concerns were addressed then, but it appears that the problems are greatly outweighed by the successes.

  9. liberator

    They have this exact system in Montréal, Canada. It’s where it started and it works great. There is actually many security features (such as a GPS that locks breaks when outside the city) in these bikes that prevent them from being stolen. As well, all the parts are non-standard and so cannot be used in other bikes. This makes them less attractive to theives. However, the people in Montréal are probably much different (more liberal) than in America. But it could certainly be a success for those who commute to work.

  10. Pingback: Two-Wheel Revolution: Bikesharing Takes Off | TheCityFix DC

  11. john

    used bixi in montreal. it sucked! many of the touch screens were broken, and we got stranded at the most distant station. the system wouldn’t give us bikes to ride. beware!

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