Record year for Nice Ride bike share

The Nice Ride bike sharing program has had its busiest year yet.

Customers used the green bikes for almost 275,000 trips, the most for the non-profit group since it started renting bikes in 2010, said Nice Ride executive director Bill Dossett.

The season ends this Sunday night. The stations will be locked after that, so people can return bikes but can't rent them again until next spring. Then the bikes and stations will be stored for the winter.

Dossett said he pleased with the way the program is expanding.

"We expect to continue to expand along the river. And so the kinds of places you'll see new bike share stations next year will probably be Minnehaha Falls and Fort Snelling. We'll also see some additional stations along Lake Street," Dossett said.

"This year we added stations in downtown St. Paul. The system is getting used there. Not at quite the level we've seen in downtown Minneapolis. Downtown Minneapolis over the last several years has become a phenomenal place to ride a bike. Downtown St. Paul is moving in that direction too," he said.

Light rail construction in downtown St. Paul may have helped keep the number of rentals down, he said.

This is the third season for the program. During that time, only four bikes have gone missing. One of them was returned -- a year later.

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