Golden Valley Considers Innovative LimeBike Program
Starting this spring, Golden Valley could be the first city in Minnesota to try out a new and innovative approach to public transportation: LimeBike.
If approved by the City Council, a combined total of about 500 road bikes and electric bikes will be spread throughout the City as soon as this April as part of a pilot program with the bike rental company LimeBike.
The LimeBike system has similarities to the NiceRide Minnesota program (which operates in Minneapolis and St Paul), but with one major difference—there are no docking stations for LimeBikes. They can be parked anywhere, as long as it’s a legal parking location for a bike. If people choose to, they could even ride the bikes out of the city.
Here’s how it works:
- To use the LimeBike system, first download the LimeBike app.
- Using GPS tracking, the app will tell you where the nearest available LimeBike is.
- When you find the bike, you scan its barcode and use the app’s payment system to unlock the bike. You can then ride it wherever you want to go.
- When you park the bike and end your rental session, you need to lock the bike, and it can only be used again when another LimeBike customer chooses to rent it.
LimeBike is present in about 50 markets nationally, but this will be the first time the service comes to Minnesota.
“LimeBike prefers to launch in communities that share our enthusiasm for active transportation and for creating new mobility opportunities,” says Gabriel Scheer, director of strategic development for LimeBike. “We have seen that enthusiasm from Golden Valley since we began the conversation.
“Further,” Scheer adds, “with progressive local employers such as General Mills, we see an opportunity to help employees get around in more fun, efficient, and healthy ways.”
Convenient Transportation, Useful Data
Not only does LimeBike offer residents a convenient way to get around town, it will also provide the City data about bike use patterns, says Marc Nevinski, physical development director for Golden Valley.
“It can tell us where the highest demands are for biking and give us some ideas for better trail designs and locations,” he says.
The pilot program will last through the end of 2018, at which point the City will weigh the pros and cons of the service and decide if the program should continue.
“Trying this service doesn’t cost us any money,” Nevinski says. “Our hope is that it works out, that we see people using the bikes throughout the community to get to places like Brookview, the downtown area in St Louis Park, or Theodore Wirth Park. Additionally, LimeBike will be responsible for the operations and maintenance of the bikes, not the City.”
When the program starts, the bikes will be scattered throughout the city. Where they ultimately end up depends on where people ride them.”