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Nice Ride resumes the spring cycle with expanded options

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You'll soon be able to once again hop on one of the signature lime green bicycles from the Nice Ride seasonal bicycle-sharing system.

KSTP reported that the bikes began arriving at stations around the metro this week. Crews have been preparing for the upcoming season since the last week of March.

The Pioneer Press reports the system is making a few changes as the season begins to expand options for riders. The amount of time that online members can ride a bike without use fees will double this year. One-year and 30-day members who subscribe online will be able to ride for an hour before additional use fees incur. Riders who buy one- and 30-day passes with a credit card still have a 30-minute grace period before use charges kick in.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota will offer employers free 30-day memberships to distribute to their cycling workers.

The Bemidji Pioneer noted that this year, the city of Bemidji will install Nice Ride bicycles around the community. An editorial by Bemidji Mayor Rita Albrecht cited the economic boost involved with cycling. "Throughout the state, bicyclists spend $261 million annually supporting more than 5,000 jobs and helping to generate $35 million in taxes," she writes.

Nice Ride launched in Minneapolis in 2010 and has since expanded to 170 stations across the Twin Cities. Typical usage fees are $3 for up to 90 minutes of bicycle use and $6 for each additional half-hour. The group estimated that more than 305,000 rides were taken on bikes last season.

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