Rochester, the third largest city in Minnesota, wanted to know if it could support a station-based urban bike share system similar to the one operating in the Twin Cities. Nice Ride Minnesota, a Minneapolis-based nonprofit bike share operator, was willing to investigate the viability of a satellite Nice Ride bike share system in Rochester.
To assess demand, Nelson\Nygaard engaged local businesses, government officials, and the Mayo Clinic, the state’s largest private employer. We tailored our analysis to Rochester’s unique mix of factors, including large visitor and employment population, low residential population, and limited parking supply.
We found significant barriers to implementation, such as low residential density and a network that traverses a safe environment. However, substantial weekday demand existed, and with possible financial support from employers generated through the outreach process, a bike share program could be able to sustain operations.