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Minneapolis to get first ever 'kayak share'

Pilot program gives new meaning to the phrase “docking station”

You’ve heard of car shares, bike shares, and apartment shares, but the newest incarnation of the sharing economy aims to really float your boat: the kayak share.

Minneapolis is planning a first-of-its-kind program enabling anyone to pick up one of 32 kayaks at two stations along a stretch of the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area. Kayakers can then paddle their way along nearly four miles of the Mississippi—a trip that takes between two and four hours—before returning their bark to a third station downstream.

Along the way, paddlers will have a new view of the Minneapolis skyline, as well as the chance to see blue herons, eagles, and other wildlife from their watery vantage point. The system may start operating as soon as this month.

Conveniently, all of the "paddle share" stations are all located near Minneapolis’ Nice Ride Bike Share docks, so kayakers can pedal back upriver.

The rental will cost $30 and come with a kayak, paddle, and lifejacket. The pilot project will cost an estimated $215,000, paid with funds from a federal grant and $40,000 donation from adventure retailer REI.

"It's a first in the National Park Service," park planner Susan Overson told the Star Tribune.

Source: Star Tribune