- Associated Press - Sunday, September 27, 2015

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - The co-founder of a Fargo bike-share system thinks a similar operation could benefit Bismarck.

Great Rides Bike Share co-founder Cam Knutson will talk about the Fargo program on Oct. 21 at the North Dakota Downtown Conference in Bismarck. He said he’ll gauge whether there’s interest in a Bismarck bike-share program, and he and others in Fargo would help guide its creation.

“Bismarck is in a spot similar to Fargo in that it’s on the grow,” Knutson told the Bismarck Tribune (https://bit.ly/1KD9rcB ). “You’ve got to keep doing things to encourage people to stick around.”

Knutson says some questioned whether Great Rides would be successful because of Fargo’s size and winter weather, but he says “all those things were thrown out the window” after its first season. The program reached 100,000 rides within its first year.

“This is a trend that’s going to continue. Years from now, you’re going to see bike shares everywhere,” he said. “People are going to start to expect it.”

Bismarck Mayor Mike Seminary said he has seen Fargo’s bike-share system and would support a group that wanted to start one in North Dakota’s capital city. Whether Bismarck has the ridership to support it would have to be determined, he said.

Bike-share stations are solar-powered and can be stored during the winter. The Fargo program sells annual memberships, and members can swipe cards to access bikes across the city.

Knutson said Bismarck’s system wouldn’t mimic Fargo, but rather focus on its own strengths such as downtown, the Missouri River and a large trial system.

“It’s important to start the conversation,” Knutson said. “This isn’t going to happen overnight.”

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Information from: Bismarck Tribune, https://www.bismarcktribune.com


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