Great Rides Bike Share is proud to announce its one hundred thousandth ride! The program, the first of its kind in North Dakota, provides bicycles at stations located throughout downtown Fargo and the North Dakota State University (NDSU) campuses for short station-to-station rentals. The system launched in mid-March with 101 bikes at 11 stations.
“Our first year overall ridership levels put us ahead of other successful and much larger bike share programs in communities such as Minneapolis, Denver, and Madison all of which had fewer rides their first season.,” said Cam Knutson, chair of the Great Rides Bike Share Board of Directors.
The program’s fast-moving success ties in to new technologies that include NDSU students. “To our knowledge, it is the first program in the nation to integrate a whole university alongside community users,” said Tom Smith, owner of Great Northern Bicycle Co. and steering committee member for the program. New card-reader technology allows NDSU students to use their student ID cards to check out bikes. Over 7,700 students have enrolled their cards for the program.
“Great Rides Bike Share has had awesome results since launching and I would rank the usage at the top for bike share systems here in the USA,” said Lee Jones, Director of Sales for BCycle, the Madison-based vendor that provides infrastructure for over two dozen bike sharing systems nationwide.
Future plans include continued growth of the program across the NDSU campuses and downtown Fargo, eventually extending across the river into sister city Moorhead, Minnesota.
“This program is another example of how our community can rally behind something and make it a much bigger success than anyone could ever have imagined,” said Mike Williams, Fargo City Commissioner and Great Rides Bike Share Board of Directors member.
“Current and future bike share operators are taking note of our success, particularly in the integration of student riders. We receive multiple calls each month inquiring about how we did it,” says Sara Watson Curry, Great Rides Director of Operations.
Coincident to the milestone, the program will expand two of the most popular stations to better accommodate riders. This week, technicians will double the number of docks at the Memorial Union Station and add several additional docks at High Rise Complex Station, both on NDSU main campus, to accommodate more bikes.
Each bike in the system, which receives regular inspection by professional mechanics, has been ridden an average of 1,000 times, said Watson Curry.
For more information: greatridesbikeshare.com; facbeook.com/GreatRidesBikeShare
Further questions, please contact:
Sara Watson Curry
Great Rides Bike Share is a program managed by Great Rides Fargo, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to building healthy individuals and communities by encouraging the use of bicycles for lifestyle, sport, and recreation. Great Rides Bike Share is the first technology driven bike share system in North Dakota.