ROCHESTER, Minn. - Beginning this week, people can borrow bikes from 6 locations to use for the day.
Rochester previously had a bike share program since 2016 with Nice Ride Minnesota. After some changes with the organization, the program in Rochester ended in early 2018. Nice Ride offered the bikes to the city at no cost, so now Rochester is starting its own bike share program.
The biggest difference between the old program and this new one is the bikes are free to use this time around.
40 bikes are available at Home2 Suites, Fairfield Inn and Suites, Peace Plaza, Rochester Public Library, City Hall, and Olmsted County Offices.
Barbara Beck is a member of We Bike Rochester, a community organization dedicated to making the city bike-friendly. She is excited to see the orange bikes back, but she has a safety tip for people using them downtown. "Just a word of advice: if you're not used to riding in the stree, ride in the middle of the lane. It's actually the safest place for you to be because the drivers in the cars will be able to see you much for easily than if you're off to the side," she explains.
To check out a bike at the library, you can head to the fiction desk to fill out some paperwork. You must have a valid form of identification and either bring your own helmet, or borrow one from the bike share program.
The bikes will be available until the end of October, depending on the weather. The program is in its pilot stage and user feedback will determine the program's future, according to the City of Rochester's website.
The new program was launched in collaboration with the City of Rochester, Destination Medical Center, Experience Rochester, Olmsted County Public Health, Mayo Clinic, and the Rochester Public Library.