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Bike Sharing System

Bublr Bikes

Photo source: BublrBikes.com

The City of Milwaukee is home to an expanding public bike sharing system - Bublr Bikes - with 39 stations that offer residents and visitors a healthy non-motorized option to make short trips by bike.

The City is partnered with Bublr Bikes, a locally based non-profit organization that operates Milwaukee's public bike sharing system.

For information on how to use Bublr Bikes, pass options and usage fees, operating hours, and any customer service issues, please visit BublrBikes.com or contact Bublr Bike Share customer service at (414) 931-1121 or info@bublrbikes.com. Follow Bublr Bikes on Twitter and Facebook. 

 

Stations

 

There are 49 bike share stations operating year-round in and near downtown Milwaukee. Click HERE for an interactive map on the Bublr Bikes website. Or, click on the map below for a larger, downloadable version.

 

Bublr Station Map

 

  1. 411 E. Wisconsin Avenue* (N. Jefferson St at E. Wisconsin Ave)
  2. Lakefront Brewery (Commerce at Holton)
  3. Milwaukee Intermodal Station (St. Paul at 5th)
  4. Ogden / Jackson
  5. Ogden / Marshall
  6. Broadway / Knapp
  7. Brady/Prospect
  8. Brady / Humboldt
  9. Public Market (N. Broadway at St. Paul Ave)
  10. Red Arrow Park (Kilbourn at Water)
  11. Central Library (N. 8th at Wisconsin)
  12. Downer / Park Place
  13. Prospect / North
  14. UWM Student Union (Maryland at Kenwood)
  15. Golda Meier Library (E. Hartford between Maryland and Downer)
  16. Sandburg Hall (N. Maryland at Newport – UWM)
  17. Riverview (North Avenue at Commerce)
  18. North / Cambridge
  19. Kenilworth Square (N. Prospect at Kenilworth Place)
  20. Discovery World (Michigan St at Art Musuem Drive)
  21. Schlitz Park (Cherry St at Rivercenter Drive)
  22. US Bank Center (Van Buren at Wisconsin)
  23. Humboldt / Commerce
  24. Jefferson / Menomonee
  25. Water / Wisconsin
  26. Wisconsin Center (N. 4th St at Wisconsin Avenue)
  27. S. 6th / Virginia
  28. N. 6th / Reservoir
  29. Hillside Terrace (N. 6th at Galena)
  30. MLK / Brown
  31. Water / Pleasant
  32. Public Museum (Wells at James Lovell)
  33. Marquette University Student Union (Wells at 16th)
  34. MIAD (Erie at E. Menomonee St)
  35. S. 2nd / Freshwater
  36. S. 2nd / Virginia
  37. S. 2nd / Washington
  38. Cesar Chavez Drive (Cesar Chavez at Washington St)
  39. Zillman Park (Kinnickinnic at Ward St)
  40. Bradford Beach (Lincoln Memorial Drive at Water Tower Rd)
  41. Pleasant / Commerce
  42. Astor / Juneau
  43. Burns Commons (Prospect Ave at Ogden)
  44. North / MLK
  45. North / Lake
  46. Oakland / Bradford
  47. Riverside Park (Oakland Ave at Riverside Pl)
  48. Oakland / Kenwood
  49. S. 5th (S. 5th St at National Ave)

* 411 E. Wisconsin station closes for the winter - November 15 thru March 15

 

The City of Milwaukee is the primary partner with non-profit Midwest Bike Share in establishing a public bike sharing system in the Milwaukee area, and has been actively working with and supporting Bublr Bikes toward this goal:

 

July 24, 2012 - Common Council passed a Resolution "directing City departments to assist and support efforts to establish and maintain bicycle facilities including bike-sharing programs and installations".

July 2, 2013 - Common Council passed a Resolution authorizing a Grant Agreement with Midwest Bike Share for up to $50,000 from Tax Incremental Districts (TID) #68 and #75 in the 12th Aldermanic District.

July 23, 2013 - Common Council passed a Resolution authorizing a Grant Agreement with Midwest Bike Share and the City's Office of Environmental Sustainability for up to $38,000 of federal Energy Efficiency Block Grant (EECBG) funding.

Dec. 17, 2013 - Common Council passed a Resolution authorizing execution of a grant agreement for $1.6 million ($1,280,000 of federal Congestion Mitigation/Air Quality [CMAQ] funding, and $320,000 local City match) for the design, equipment purchase, and installation of additional public sharing equipment within the City of Milwaukee.

Spring/Summer 2014 - Department of Public Works staff worked closely with Midwest Bike Share staff to assess and select pilot bike share station locations, prepare these sites, and coordinate necessary permits and approvals.  Ten stations were installed in August 2014.

April 2015 - An eleventh station was installed on Brady Street at Humboldt Boulevard in partnership with the Brady Street Business Improvement District.

Fall 2015 - 17 new stations were installed, including six in partnership with the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee.

Spring/Summer 2016 - 12 new stations were installed and 1 removed for a net gain of 11 stations.

Fall 2016 - 10 more stations were installed in Milwaukee, including one on South 5th St funded by TID 85. Those new stations brought the grand total to 49 stations in Milwaukee and 56 in the entire system, including the new stations in Wauwatosa.

 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is bike share?

Bike sharing is an automated system for renting bicycles. The emphasis is on short trips where the bicycle is typically returned within 30-60 minutes to keep it in circulation where it can be used by other people wanting to also make short trips. This is different from traditional bicycle rentals where bicycles are rented for a longer period of time – a half day, full day, weekend or longer.

Bike share systems provide a new way to travel by providing sturdy bikes at self-service docking stations at locations in Milwaukee. People can use the bikes by becoming regular or short-term members.  For daily or weekly memberships, users can sign up at any station kiosk with a credit card to use one of the bike share bikes. People can also become regular pass holders by enrolling online after which they will receive a key sensor, or FOB similar in shape and size to a computer flash drive. The key can be swiped at any dock in the system to unlock a bike. Bike share bikes can then be returned to any station in the system, creating an efficient network with many possible points and combinations of departures and arrivals.

What are the benefits of bicycle sharing?

Bicycle sharing has numerous benefits for individuals and the community. Public bicycle sharing appeals to people because it offers 24/7, automated, self-service access to bicycles for short trips without the hassle of maintenance or storage of a bicycle. Bicycle sharing complements traditional public transit by expanding its reach, providing residents and visitors alike more options to travel in and around town. Bicycle sharing is also a clean, affordable, healthy and FUN option for getting around Milwaukee.

Why launch bike share in Milwaukee?

The City of Milwaukee and Midwest Bike Share introduced public bike sharing to provide Milwaukee area residents and visitors with another option for getting around Milwaukee. Many trips, especially in the City of Milwaukee, are less than two miles in length. Public bike share offers residents and visitors an easy, efficient, inexpensive and quick travel option for short trips by providing ready access to a bike without having to worry about storage or maintenance.

Who is running the bike sharing system in Milwaukee?

Bublr Bike Share is currently operated by a locally based non-profit, Midwest Bike Share.  The City and Midwest Bike Share purchase the system's equipment from Wisconsin-based B-Cycle using a combination of public grant awards and private donations.

For information on how to use Bublr Bike Share, pass options and usage fees, operating hours, and any customer service issues, please visit BublrBikes.com or contact Bublr Bike Share customer service at (414) 931-1121 or info@bublrbikes.com.

Do other cities have public bike sharing systems?

Yes, there are about 90 cities in the United States with successful public sharing systems, including Buffalo (buffalobikeshare.org), Chicago (divvybikes.com), Columbus (cogobikeshare.com), Indianapolis (pacersbikeshore.org), Madison (madison.bcycle.com), Minneapolis (niceridemn.org), Omaha (omaha.bcycle.com), and Washington, DC (capitalbikeshare.com). Likewise, dozens of cities in Canada, Europe, Asia and Australia also have successful bike share systems, some of which have been operating since the mid-2000s – visit this bike sharing world map to see where bike sharing is up and running and where new bike share systems are planned.

How is the bike sharing system in Milwaukee being funded?

The purchase and installation of the public bike sharing system equipment in Milwaukee is being funded through a combination of federal grants, local matching dollars from the City of Milwaukee, tax increment funding from some Tax Increment Districts in Milwaukee, and generous donations and sponsorships from local companies and individual donors. Ongoing system operations are expected to be funded through membership fees, bicycle use charges, advertising and additional sponsorships, donations and possibly more grants.

When will the program expand to new areas of Milwaukee?

The first 40 stations are located in and near downtown Milwaukee to take advantage of the dense population in downtown and several popular origins and destinations. The bike sharing system is expected to expand again in 2016 when the City of Milwaukee spends the remainder of its $1.6 million federal transportation grant.  These grant funds are designated for planning and developing at least 28 new station sites and then purchasing and installing new station equipment and bicycles.

Additional expansion of the Bublr Bike Share system into neighboring communities is also planned, including into the Village of Shorewood, the City of Wauwatosa, and the City of West Allis which have all recently been awarded federal transportation grants to support the purchase of additional stations and bicycles.  Stations are expected to be operating in 2017.

I would like to use the Bublr Bike Share system but I don’t know how to ride a bike / haven’t ridden for years. Is there someone teaching classes on how to bicycle safely and confidently?  

The Wisconsin Bicycle Federation in partnership with Milwaukee Public Schools teaches several bicycling skills classes, including “Savvy City Cycling”, as well as bicycle maintenance classes through Milwaukee Recreation. Look for upcoming classes listed in the latest quarterly Milwaukee Recreation Activity Guide.

How can I learn more about public bike sharing or become involved with Bublr Bike Share?

Visit the Bublr Bikes website, call/text (414) 931-1121, or email info@bublrbikes.com.

For general information about public bike sharing visit some of these online resources:

For information on how to use Bublr Bike Share, pass options and usage fees, operating hours, and any customer service issues, please visit BublrBikes.com or contact Bublr Bike Share customer service at (414) 931-1121 or info@bublrbikes.com.