FARGO – Great Rides Bike Share recently wrapped up the first season of its program that helped peddle in a new transportation culture on the campus of North Dakota State University and downtown.
The bike share program started in March with 11 stations set up in downtown Fargo and on the NDSU campus. The program saw 143,154 rides, with 95 percent of the riders being NDSU students, said Great Rides Bike Share spokeswoman Sara Watson Curry.
"Integrating with NDSU and integrating with the student population is something that's not really been done before ... so we really led the way there," Watson Curry said.
Students could use their student ID cards to check out bikes for 30 minutes for an unlimited number of times. The bike share was so popular that Great Rides had to expand its station at the Memorial Union in September to accommodate the number of riders stopping there.
One worry that was alleviated in the first season of the program was bike theft. Only one bike is missing, and a bike share membership is being offered as a reward for its return, Watson Curry said.
The bike share will return on April 1, weather permitting, but Great Rides has yet to decide if it will expand the program in Fargo or across the river to Moorhead, Watson Curry said.
"We've been very successful in helping lower barriers for students to get on the bike share," she said. "We're not ready to invade those other campuses, but we are interested in crossing the river and taking steps toward that."
She said expanding into Moorhead is a long-term goal and a committee was established to discuss that for the future.
One change is planned when the bikes return. Great Rides is modifying the baskets on the bikes to make maneuvering easier, Watson Curry said.
Great Rides Bike Share staff will present the results of their program to the Fargo City Commission at 5 p.m. today.