An expensive bike ride

Sheldon Gitis

I’m all for improving conditions for bicycle riding and for increasing the number of bikes on the road. People who live short distances from school, work, shopping and entertainment destinations, etc., should not be forced to fire up a motor vehicle in order to get where they need to go.
However, I cannot imagine how the Nice Ride Minnesota bike-share system does anything to improve conditions for bicycle riding or increase the number of bicycle riders.
Who’s going to use this system? Five dollars gets you a half-hour ride to and from a “wow-cool” solar-powered kiosk. Or, you can get with the program and buy your half-hour rides in bulk for the monthly rate of $30 or the yearly rate $60.
Or, you can game the bike-share system and hop-scotch to and from the solar-powered kiosks and try to avoid paying additional fees for rides that extend more than a half-hour.
Who’s going to use this goofball, greenwash, “wow-cool,” solar-powered kiosk system? A half-hour ride to and from an available kiosk does not get you to and from work, school, a shopping trip or anywhere else you need to go — unless, by unlikely chance, both your origin and destination happen to be very close to kiosk locations.
It appears that BlueCross BlueShield and the federal government — the same folks that brought us our bloated and nightmarish health care and transportation systems — along with the city of Minneapolis and some private business interests, have just spent $3.2 million so a handful of iPhone-carrying gizmocrats can hopscotch to and from some solar-powered kiosks.
According to an article in The Minnesota Daily, “The system will include applications for smartphones and an interactive map on the website that will show available bicycles and empty slots for returning bicycles at each kiosk.”
Wow, cool!
Sheldon Gitis, University alumnus