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A strange bike-share evolution process in Minneapolis and St Paul

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A strange bike-share evolution process in Minneapolis and St Paul

BY   Alexandre Gauquelin   

You know it now, the trend of dockless bike-share is now viral. Some Cities are now questioning the coherence of their station-based bike-share schemes to replace it by dockless ones. We already pointed the case of Seattle, where Pronto’s public funded program definitely closed in march 2017 and gave space to their already famous dockless bike-share pilot.

 

Minneapolis and Saint-Paul (MN) are also willing to switch to dockless, but there, the process is a bit awkward… as it is the current private operator Nice Ride that is leading the reflexion for the future of bike-share in the Twin Cities!

 

According to Kate Lockhart, a Saint-Paul’s bike advocate:

 

“Back in August, Nice Ride solicited proposals to help them transition their current docked bike share system to a dockless bike share system. They accepted these proposals through early October, and Nice Ride’s “evaluation committee” selected two finalists – LimeBike and Motivate – who presented their competing plans to the public last night.”

 

Finally, Nice Ride chose Motivate as the finalist. Not really a surprise as they already are the provider of the current station-based solution.

 

“But here’s the important part – Nice Ride and their chosen partner intend to be the exclusive bike share provider for Minneapolis and Saint Paul for a “limited” period of time while they make their transition from docked to dockless bike share.”

 

So Nice Ride sees the future of bike-share in the cities as being the exclusive operator of Motivate’s dockless bike-share system. And will ask both Minneapolis and Saint-Paul’s municipalities to agree with it… At what price? With what equipment? With what quality of service? Don’t worry, Nice Ride will decide.

Saint-Paul’s city council already step back from the process, suspicious about the all process. And Minneapolis is looking at whether being “the” provider (as stipulates the contract with Nice Ride) means being the “sole, exclusive” provider. To be continued…

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