Bublr Bikes Everywhere
Nine of the ten new stations have been installed -- and are getting plenty of ridership, as our photos show.
Two weeks ago the city’s bike-sharing system, Bublr Bikes, was unveiled at Red Arrow Park. Less than two weeks later nine of the 10 stations have already been installed and the bicycles are a frequent sight around Downtown. That’s an impressive installation rate for a much anticipated system.
I’ve seen them in use on E. Mason St. early in the morning, rolling down the lakefront in the evening and parked in front of Von Trier on the East Side. People are finding the bike stations.
The only downside to the system is that it will take until next year for more stations to be added. Milwaukee has a grant for approximately 30 more stations, and there are similar grants for Shorewood, West Allis, and Wauwatosa. The goal is to grow the system to 35 stations and 300 bikes in 2015 and to 100 stations within the next few years.
Pricing for bike sharing is initially confusing, but it’s actually quite straight-forward and user-friendly. A $7 day-pass gets you unlimited 30 minute rides. If you want to cycle around for more than a half hour, you can pay the small penalty for having a bike longer or simply check-in and check-out a bike (it takes only a minute) at any station. The pricing structure, virtually identical to other systems across the country, is designed to get the greatest availability out of the bikes. The utility of the system clearly grows as the number of stations and geographic footprint of the system grows, allowing riders to cycle back and forth from bike stations all over the city.
Our photos show all of the open stations.