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Nice ride sets outstate goal for 2014

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The fast-growing Twin Cities bike-share program Nice Ride is looking to expand outside its metro core, the Star Tribune reports.

The popular service, which allows people to check out bikes for a fee from locations sprinkled liberally around Minneapolis-St. Paul, got off to a slow start after a chilly, wet spring. But it set new usership records through the remainder of the season, which ended Sunday, the Star Tribune reports. Riders who bought $6 24-hour subscriptions increased by more than 13,500, and in total, users took more than 305,000 rides, an 11 percent jump, the newspaper reported.

Now Nice Ride is going to explore an outstate market or two. The service in the spring plans to expand first in Bemidji, and Nice Ride is doing a feasibility study about the Rochester market, a spokeswoman said.

In its annual report, Nice Ride says that 2013 has been called the ‘year of the bike share‘ with massive bike share systems launched this year in San Francisco, New York, and Chicago.

The Bay Area's first bike-sharing network got off to a fast start, the San Francisco Examiner reported last month.

And Chicago's Divvy bike-share service started with 700 bikes in July 2013 and now has 3,000.

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