The City of Minneapolis has entered into license agreements with three operators (Lime, Spin and Veo) to participate in its Shared Bike and Scooter Program for the 2023 season. The bikes and scooters will be available for rent beginning Thursday, April 13.
With Nice Ride leaving the market, this year’s bike share system will look a little different without their bike docking system. Like scooter riders, shared bike riders will be able to end their trip anywhere in the city. All they need to do is lock their bike to a bike rack or to any signpost except a stop sign or bus stop sign. And, thanks to a generous gift from Nice Ride and Lyft, Public Works has already started installing hundreds of their familiar bright blue bike and scooter racks around the city that every rider can use. Riding and parking rules along with examples can be found on the City’s website.
All three vendors will have scooter rentals. Lime and Veo will also have e-bike rentals. Lime will have Class 1 e-bikes, which are pedal assist bikes, meaning the motor provides assistance when the bike is actively being pedaled.
Veo will have Class 2 e-bikes. Class 2 e-bikes have both pedal assist and a throttle, similar to scooters. Riders don’t need to be actively pedaling to use these vehicles. This is the first time the City has had this type of e-bike in its bike share program. They are a great option for people with physical limitations because users don’t need to stand as they do on scooters or pedal as they do on Class 1 e-bikes.
Equity and safety continue to be key focus areas for the program. As part of the City’s equity focused requirements, at least 38% of each operator’s scooters must be distributed in Equity Distribution Areas in north and south Minneapolis and a maximum of 34% of each operator’s scooters are allowed downtown. The remaining 28% are to be distributed in all other neighborhoods.
Beyond the scooter distribution requirements, all three operators are required to have low-income pricing programs for qualified residents. Links to each low-income access program and instructions on how to sign up are on the City’s website.
Operators are also required to have ongoing education and outreach on safe riding and proper parking behavior. State law regulates how scooters can be operated and riders must follow similar traffic laws as bicyclists. Shared bikes and scooters cannot be ridden on sidewalks and must be parked upright using the kickstand and locked to a municipal signpost or public bike rack, outside of the pedestrian path of travel.
The Shared Bike and Scooter Program advances the City of Minneapolis’ transportation goals outlined in the Transportation Action Plan, including 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.
Learn more about scooters, including how to rent, ride and park them.
Learn more about bike sharing for short trips around the city.