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You can try Minneapolis' new dockless bikes for free on Friday

It's to mark World Car-Free Day.

If you live in Minneapolis, you might have noticed a new arrival on city streets this week.

Some 1,500 blue dockless ride-share bicycles officially debuted in the city on Tuesday, courtesy of Nice Ride Minnesota.

Unlike the first Nice Ride bikes that came to the Twin Cities, you don't need to find a docking station to drop them off, you can just leave them anywhere provided they're parked legally in the city.

And what's more, on Friday you can try them free of charge, as Nice Ride marks World Car-Free Day.

There's a slight catch, you need to download the Nice Ride app in order to access the free pass.

Nonetheless the pass will give you unlimited 30-minute rides throughout the day – you may be charged an overage fee if you stay on longer than that, so end your ride before 30 minutes is over, then re-hire it again for another free half-hour.

You'll find most of the bikes at the parking hubs dotted around the city, which will be marked in the app and on street signs, and will increase in number over the coming months, with Nice Ride specifically focusing on the Phillips, Seward and North Minneapolis neighborhoods.

This is intentional, Mayor Jacob Frey said, as these neighborhoods have historically been "cut off" from access to jobs and amenities.

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"This innovative system will provide increased and equitable access to bike share in neighborhoods across Minneapolis,” said Bill Dossett, Nice Ride Minnesota executive director. 

"In order to ensure the system is responding to the needs and interests of the public, we are engaging residents and business owners to identify dockless parking hubs.

"We are proud to deliver this expanded, orderly, and innovative system to the Minneapolis community and visitors alike."

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