Initial locations announced for Milwaukee bike-share program

Last updated on July 3rd, 2019 at 07:15 pm

The first 10 stations for the Milwaukee bike-share program, to be called Bublr Bikes, were announced on Wednesday.


Those stations, which will be installed within a few weeks, will be located at: Cathedral Square Park, Chase Plaza, Discovery World, the 411 East Wisconsin Center, the Intermodal Station, the Milwaukee Public Market, Red Arrow Park, Schlitz Park, the U.S. Bank Center and the Wisconsin Center (the downtown convention center).

The full bike-share system will launch in 2015 with an additional 25 to 35 stations with 200 to 300 bikes.

Bublr Bikes will offer bicycles that can be rented from automated kiosks and returned at any station. The initial rates will range from $7 a day to $20 per month for unlimited trips under 30 minutes each, with additional charges for longer trips. Users can buy day passes at the stations or purchase monthly passes via Bublr’s website, [HYPERLINK]

Bublr Bikes is operated by Milwaukee-based Midwest BikeShare Inc., a nonprofit organization. The organization hopes to grow the system to 100 stations and 1,000 bicycles within a few years, reaching more neighborhoods as funding becomes available.

“With these first stations, riders will be able to bike between many popular destinations this year and get a real sense of how the larger system will work in 2015 and in future years of growth, said Bruce Keyes, president and co-founder of Midwest BikeShare Inc.

A demonstration ride-share station was added last year at Discovery World. That station had nearly 1,000 rides last season.

Several other major cities have added bike-share systems, including Chicago, Denver, Des Moines, Houston, Indianapolis, Madison, Minneapolis, New York and Omaha.

“Bublr Bikes will put Milwaukee on par with our peer cities and generate excitement for people of all ages,” said Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett. “It will be especially popular with the young millennial workers that many employers are seeking.”

The program will also be extended into some suburban communities. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation announced Monday that it will allocate more than $1.2 million in federal funds to suburban communities for the Milwaukee bike-share initiative, including $426,634 to Wauwatosa, $399,360 to West Allis and $398,607 to Shorewood.

The bike-share program is funded by a combination of federal, local and private funds. So far, Midwest BikeShare has raised nearly $3 million, with more than $1 million coming from more than two dozen private donors, including: Mandel Group, MGIC, the Astor Street Foundation, the Pabst Theater Group, Schlitz Park, the U.S. Bank Center, the Brico Fund, the Milwaukee Development Corp., Lakefront Brewery, the Greater Milwaukee Foundation, Dermond Property Investments and Rockwell Automation.

“I encourage other Milwaukee employers to get behind Bublr Bikes and help make downtown and nearby neighborhoods even more exciting and vibrant,” said Curt Culver, chairman and CEO of MGIC.

Hardman said an additional $3 million needs to be raised to achieve the goal of a 1,000 bike network within a few years.

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