The City of Minneapolis, City of Saint Paul, the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board and the University of Minnesota have agreed to issue a joint solicitation for vendors to receive licenses under a new shared bike and scooter program starting in the spring of 2022. The new shared bike and scooter program builds on the cities’ existing programs and mobility objectives focused on equity, access for all, and minimizing greenhouse gas emissions.
The City of Minneapolis partnered with and supported Nice Ride Minnesota’s development in 2008 – the first nonprofit plan for bike sharing in North America. Nice Ride has since grown from 65 stations and 700 bikes to 200 stations and 1,850 bikes. The City’s agreement with Nice Ride ends on Nov. 1, 2021.
In the summer of 2018, the City launched its shared motorized foot scooter pilot program. Currently the City has license agreements with two operators – Bird and Lyft – to participate in its 2021 shared motorized foot scooter program. The City’s agreement with Bird and Lyft ends on Dec. 31, 2021.
The City of Saint Paul has supported shared bike and scooter programs since 2011. Nice Ride Minnesota began operating in Saint Paul in 2011 and provided bicycle sharing services throughout Saint Paul through 2018. Lime also operated a dockless bike sharing service in Saint Paul in 2018, with a fleet of more than 700 bicycles. There are not currently any bike sharing vendors operating in Saint Paul.
Saint Paul began a shared motorized foot scooter pilot program in 2018. Saint Paul currently has operating agreements with two vendors, Bird and Lime, collectively operating 1,000 scooters throughout Saint Paul. Saint Paul’s current agreements with Bird and Lime expire on Nov. 30, 2021.
The joint solicitation requests proposers provide a variety of shared mobility vehicles in the public right of way including, but not limited to classic bicycles, electric assisted bicycles and motorized foot scooters as well as their interest and ability to provide supporting infrastructure.
This new program will continue advancing the City of Minneapolis’ transportation goals as outlined in the Transportation Action Plan, such as supporting safe street operations and focusing on human-centered design, removing the barriers of physical ability, geographic placement, language, payment methods, and income as well as sharing data that supports the City’s ongoing transportation planning and operations work.
In addition to demonstrating how they will help advance the City’s goals, as part of their proposal, vendors must describe how they will meet basic program requirements including the distribution of vehicles in accordance with the City’s equity requirements, low-income pricing programs, their community engagement efforts, their plan to educate riders and address issues such as sidewalk riding and improper parking, and how they’ll share data with the City, among other requirements.
The proposals will be jointly reviewed to determine collectively which, if any, companies qualify for a license. While it will remain the responsibility of each jurisdiction to select and enter into license agreements with qualified vendor(s), the solicitation was jointly developed with the intention of selecting multiple vendors that are able to serve all participating jurisdictions.
With the evolution of the micromobility industry over the last few years, we look forward to seeing what is available in the marketplace and selecting vendors that will work with us over a longer term and commit to investing locally. The request for proposal (RFP) documentation can be found on the City’s eSupplier portal.