1,000 bikes for sharing and state-of-the-art bike center set stage for greater metro bike usage
March 10, 2009
Bike Walk Twin Cities Announces Projects Totaling More Than $4 Million in Minneapolis, St. Paul and Edina
Contacts: Katie Eukel, Transit for Livable Communities - 651.767.0298, Ext. 115
Cathy Kennedy - 612.309.3951
Ryan Maus, U of M, 612.624.1690
Jeremy Hanson, Office of the Mayor, 612-673-2785
Minneapolis (March 10, 2009) – Two ground-breaking bicycling programs, laying the groundwork for the next generation of bike travel in the Twin Cities, were announced today by Transit for Livable Communities (TLC), the nonprofit organization that administers Bike Walk Twin Cities.
Topping the list of new metro investments to increase biking and walking in the Twin Cities were:
- A bike share program, featuring 1,000 bikes located at 75 security kiosks throughout Minneapolis, and
- A first-of-its kind frequent bike rider program, powered by a radio frequency identity system (RFID), which will be installed in conjunction with the new University of Minnesota Bike Center.
These two endeavors plus four other biking and walking projects will receive more than $4 million in grants from Bike Walk Twin Cities, a federally-funded program to increase biking and walking and decrease driving in the metro area. Today’s grants are the third in a series of awards announced since 2007 when Bike Walk Twin Cities launched.
“We’re very excited to be part of a national movement that is looking to the future and pushing for innovation in transportation,” said Lea Schuster, executive director of Transit for Livable Communities. “These projects provide Twin Cities residents with more opportunities to get around town while saving money, staying healthy, and helping to reduce global warming pollution.”
The Minneapolis Bike Share Program, which received a $1.75 million grant, will be run by Nice Ride Minnesota, a nonprofit organization. Bike Share riders will have the option of purchasing a season pass for about $50, and may check out a bike at any time and return it to a self-service kiosk of their choice. The first 30 minutes are free and additional time is available for a small fee. In addition, day passes are available. In Minneapolis, the program will run from April through November.
“Bike sharing will create a more vibrant, healthy and engaged city population,” said Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak. “We’ll see business people biking to meetings, parents biking to school meetings, and employees biking to an after-work exercise class. Not only will it transform how people get around our city, but it will position Minneapolis to become the number one bicycling city in the country!” The Bike Share Program is expected to be operational by summer 2010.
The inventive radio frequency identity system, based at the new U of M Bike Center, will permit bicyclists, who install an identity tag on their bikes, to earn benefits and incentives, such as reduced costs for tune-ups and commuter goods by simply validating their bike trips.
“Today’s announcement demonstrates the University’s commitment to sustainability,” said U of M President Robert Bruininks “This center becomes more than a secure place to park your bike and change clothes; it’s a community space that rewards existing bike commuters and welcomes new bicyclists to our campus with services to make their rides more efficient and convenient.”
The U of MN Bike Center, which will receive $524,000 in Bike Walk Twin Cities funds, will serve 6,000 cyclists on campus, as well as other commuting cyclists, and will be located in the now dormant Oak Street Parking Ramp transit station waiting area, located at Oak and Delaware Streets SE.
In addition to the RFID system, the center will include an electronic bike trip-planning kiosk, 24-hour accessible secure bike storage, changing facilities, repair service and bike retail opportunities, as well as public meeting space. Construction could start this summer.
Today’s grants are the third series awarded through Bike Walk Twin Cities. In June 2007, $7 million was granted to 30 projects, and in July 2008, $1.8 million was granted to five projects.
Other projects announced today that receiving Bike Walk Twin Cities funds:
- Saint Paul – Bicycle boulevard on Jefferson Avenue from the Mississippi River on the west to Lexington Avenue, and continued as bike lanes along Jefferson Avenue to the Sam Morgan trail; installation of sidewalks to fill current gaps
- Edina – Bikeway facilities for Wooddale Ave./54th Street/Valley View Road
- South Minneapolis - Cedar/17th Ave. S./Bloomington Ave. corridor biking and walking improvements
- Minneapolis – Pedestrian enhancements on 5th Street NE and 7th Street N
Photo's from the March 10, 2009 press event can be viewed here.
About … Bike Walk Twin Cities
Bike Walk Twin Cities is a federally-funded initiative to increase biking and walking, and reduce driving in Minneapolis and neighboring communities. Working with local governments, businesses, organizations and residents, the initiative provides public education and allocates funds for safer crosswalks, bike lanes and other improvements. (www.bikewalktwinciites.org).
About … Transit for Livable Communities
Transit for Livable Communities, a Twin Cities non-profit organization that promotes a more balanced transportation system, is designated by federal law to administer Bike Walk Twin Cities, a $21.5 million initiative to increase biking and walking, and reduce driving. (www.tlcminnesota.org)