Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota extends title sponsorship of Nice Ride to 2020.
EAGAN, MINN. (March 30, 2016) – Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota and Nice Ride Minnesota are happy to announce a five-year extension of Blue Cross’ title sponsorship of the successful bike-share organization, an investment that continues to strengthen the link between health and transportation.
In 2010, Nice Ride launched in Minneapolis as the nation’s largest nonprofit public bike sharing program and since then has been a model for urban bike share programs across the country. Through five expansions and more than 1.7 million rides, Nice Ride has been shifting the way we get around town in the Twin Cities, and Blue Cross has been there from the start.
Blue Cross’ funding, which is provided through its Center for Prevention, has enabled Nice Ride to restructure its staffing, improve operations, update technology and bring the customer service call center in-house, making the system more reliable and convenient. Blue Cross also supports innovative Nice Ride programs that reach more people in more places, while improving health and building community.
“Blue Cross support has helped Nice Ride play a visible role in the rapid growth and interest in biking for recreation and getting from place to place,” said Bill Dossett, executive director of Nice Ride. “We are committed to making Minnesota a place where it’s easy for people to lead more active lives, while creating new vitality in our communities.”
“Nice Ride helps make Minnesota a better place to live,” said Janelle Waldock, vice president of community health and health equity at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, who leads the organization’s Center for Prevention. “We support Nice Ride as part of a growing community of people and organizations working for lively public spaces, active lifestyles and places where everyone can feel safe and welcome on a bike.”
COMMUNITIES DESIGNED FOR ACTIVE LIFESTYLES ARE IN DEMAND
According to a recent poll, commissioned by the Center for Prevention, the majority of Minnesotans indicate they want communities to be built with an active lifestyle in mind.
Eighty-three percent of Minnesotans believe that future transportation projects should accommodate not only motorized vehicles, but also walkers and people on bicycles. Likewise, 70 percent of respondents say that if they were deciding where to live today, sidewalks and places to take walks would be important features to them. More than half say the same about being able to bike or walk to other places and activities in their community – such as grocery stores, schools or places of worship (54%), trails that connect to other places (52%) and easy access to parks and playgrounds (52%).
Blue Cross’ continued support of Nice Ride will help meet this growing demand. Funds will be invested in the core services of Nice Ride, new technology to enhance the transportation experience, and the cooperative exploration of programs like Nice Ride Neighborhood, which break down barriers to physical activity in communities that have lower ridership and face health disparities.
The green Nice Ride bikes will be back in the Twin Cities on April 4, with 190 stations in Minneapolis and St. Paul. This summer, there are plans to install eight new stations serving the University of Minnesota campus, Dinkytown, and Stadium Village.
The Bemidji Nice Ride system will also be up and running in the beginning of April.
ABOUT NICE RIDE MINNESOTA
Launched in 2010, Nice Ride Minnesota is the nonprofit organization that operates the Twin Cities bike sharing system. Our mission is to enhance quality of life by providing convenient, easy to use bike sharing and fleet programs that will provide residents and visitors a healthy, fun, different way to get around town. We are part of a growing community of people and organizations working for active lifestyles, vibrant cities, and livable public spaces. We’re helping build that community by making it easy for everyone to ride a bike and to feel safe and welcome while riding.
ABOUT THE CENTER FOR PREVENTION
The Center for Prevention at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota delivers on Blue Cross’ long-term commitment to improve the health of all Minnesotans by tackling the leading root causes of preventable disease: tobacco use, lack of physical activity and unhealthy eating. Funded through proceeds from Blue Cross’ historic lawsuit against the tobacco industry, they collaborate with organizations statewide to increase health equity, transform communities and create a healthier state. Visit CenterforPreventionMN.com for more information and to see a timeline celebrating the Center’s 10-year anniversary.
ABOUT BLUE CROSS AND BLUE SHIELD OF MINNESOTA
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota (bluecrossmn.com), with headquarters in the St. Paul suburb of Eagan, was chartered in 1933 as Minnesota’s first health plan and continues to carry out its charter mission today as a health company: to promote a wider, more economical and timely availability of health services for the people of Minnesota. Blue Cross is a not-for-profit, taxable organization. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, headquartered in Chicago.