Undoing bikeshare’s original sin

With two-wheeled transportation so popular, it’s no surprise that Minneapolis’s bikeshare system, known as Nice Ride, was among the first to launch in the U.S. 13 years ago. Usage dipped a bit during the pandemic, but Nice Ride still provided more than 260,000 trips last year.

So it came as a shock when Racket, a local news platform, reported in March that Nice Ride would shut down. The reason: Blue Cross Blue Shield declined to renew its $3 million annual title sponsorship, which left a gaping hole in Nice Ride’s budget…

In the Bay Area, local leaders have allocated $16 million to safeguard Bay Wheels’s future. “Unlike Minneapolis, we’re unwilling to lose the bikeshare provider,” said Andrew Fremier, executive director of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, which arranged the investment in Bay Wheels. “We weren’t willing to have bikeshare go dark.”