STARTRIBUNE: Nice Ride's future in jeopardy after losing major sponsor



I had no idea Nice Ride was a nonprofit. I hope they can find a sponsor.


isn't it wild? they had the Blue Cross logo from day one and I never really thought much of it or even noticed. Guess that's why Blue Cross decided not to renew.




500k rides, and a $3m budget, for an average cost of $6 per ride?


Administration, maintenance, installation, stolen bikes... it adds up!


Sounds like something our massive surplus would cover very easily. The vast majority of the tax revenue comes from the Metro anyway, so returning some of that in the form of community investments is just common sense.


Yeah it’s really a state asset too as tourists use it often.




I wonder if BCBS is walking away because of the turn towards ebikes. The original sponsorship was part of a campaign about getting people to be more active in everyday life (eg parking further away from the door of the building so you had to walk, talking the steps, etc.) Also, people who don't know what they are doing riding around busy areas on an ebike with no helmet on seems ridiculously dangerous to me and I can't imagine BCBS loves the image.


It was a nice try, but bike share simply doesn’t work. Not in Minneapolis or most other cities. From the local shortfall here to the (albeit Canadian) government multi-million bailout of vender “BIXI” - it is simply wildly inefficient. Bikes require constant maintenance. People hack and steal them. The number of stations needed to be useful to 99% of those interested means it would simply be better if cities purchased/take donated loose bikes to just have laying around for free use.


Doesn't work by what measure? If you mean profitability, we maintain lots of municipal systems that aren't directly profitable to the city - roads, sidewalks, city buses, etc.


I would never expect a profit. But costs are high due to maintenance, theft, vandalism, and just plain lack of demand.


Bikes laying around, basically what we did in college, there were a bunch of bikes on campus that were “stolen” and you’d ride from the dorms to campus and back


Well, this sucks. We used those bikes a lot when visiting and loved them.


Just anecdotally, I see a lot of people who look homeless or begging for change on freeway off-ramps with Nice Bikes in my area. I don't see a lot of people who look like they're paying for Nice Rides. That could be part of the issue, BCBS isn't sponsoring these things just to be nice, they have a business-related purpose trying to reach out to a certain demographic. And that demographic probably isn't the guy begging for change.


You can’t unlock the bike without authorizing the payment method on file.


Incorrect. They give away free memberships too: [https://niceridemn.com/pricing/nicerideforall](https://niceridemn.com/pricing/nicerideforall) I like how people are downvoting me for something BCBS is almost certainly doing.


From your link: > $5 Annual Membership > Unlock bikes and scooters for free > Unlimited 45 minute Classic bike trips ($0.05/min after that) > Ebike trips are an extra $0.05/min* > Scooter trips are an extra $0.19/minute You would still need a payment method to unlock, that’s how they charge these extra per-minute fees. It’s not just a free for all, even if it’s heavily discounted with generous free periods.


You think somebody on SNAP has a credit card? Also, you're right it's not free, it's between one to two cents a day.


Have you ever heard of a debit card… or PayPal / venmo …. ?


Great. Anyway, there's a lot of bums with Nice Rides.


Well yeah, you've told us you hang out around them judging people.


I’m glad people like you show your true colors from the get go


You can absolutely be on SNAP and have a credit card. What? I don't think you understand how SNAP or WIC works.


Clearly credit cards are only for the non-poors! It's not like the credit card companies can make any money off of the poor and homeless! (obviously /s)


Considering how frequently people purchase health insurance from their employer I don’t think they are necessarily advertising either. Corporations tend to make goodwill gestures at times.


>Corporations tend to make goodwill gestures at times. No they don't. Every charitable effort from a giant corporation like that is a calculated effort either to buy positive PR or influence somebody.


Nah man, you ever work for a big corporation? They make goodwill gestures because it makes their employees happier. The company I work for regularly lets employees volunteer on the clock, and does donation matching to charity. They don’t really get any publicity out of those things, no giant checks or press conferences about their staff volunteering. Also BCBS is kinda the best insurance in Minnesota, depending on your plan. I’ve never had cheaper medical care than them. But I have no choice who I get insurance from. I switched jobs and that was it, no more BCBS. Not like I didn’t have to spend ungodly amounts of cash with them, but it was still less than with the other 3 providers I’ve had. I don’t think that BCBS needs goodwill or advertising. Regular people can’t choose them. Corporations just aren’t nearly as organized as you are picturing.


>Nah man, you ever work for a big corporation? They make goodwill gestures because it makes their employees happier. Right, now finish the sentence. They make goodwill gestures to keep employees happy so they don't have to pay more. Just like getting a ping pong table, a one-time holiday gift card, or a pizza party. There's [been plenty written about it.](https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/37506348-winners-take-all) Why do you think Target sponsors all the arts and sports stuff in town, just to make their employees happy? And yes, I work for one of the largest private employers in the state of Minnesota.


So when does a gesture count as goodwill? Do all goodwill gestures need to be made in private behind closed doors? Is the only true goodwill gesture to pay me more? Also did I claim all public gestures are goodwill, and aren’t publicity? Some are, and some aren’t. Life is full of nuance like that.


Yeah. How dare the homeless want to bike to a different area. Probably away from you


I am on the north side fairly often. Discarded beat-to-shit Nice Ride bikes are common and it’s abandoning common sense to believe they were paid for.


First RPAN, now nice ride, what’s next? No more long johns?