Trek Bicycle Corp. will put its B-cycle bike sharing system on display in Milwaukee on Thursday to show off the kiosks and operations it installed in Madison late last month.
Principals in the business have talked about expanding to Milwaukee, and Mayor Tom Barrett supports the project, with one key reservation. In February, he said the key to bringing B-cycle to Milwaukee would be securing federal grants or private contributions to pay for the city’s share of the costs, without tapping local property tax dollars.
In Madison, the city renegotiated the deal with B-cycle to reduce its annual contribution from $100,000 to $1.
The first kiosks with rental bikes opened in Madison around Memorial Day and 11 stations are now operating in the downtown area. Fully built out, the Madison B-cycle will have 350 bikes.'
The B-cycle station.
Here’s how it works: Riders secure a membership, either for a year or 24 hours, then swipe a credit card to pull a bike from a station. Typically, rides 30 minutes and under are free of additional charge. Daily fees start around $5.
The purpose is to provide an alternate mode of transportation for short trips in urban areas and around universities and corporate campuses.
The bikes and the rental station will be on display at the Discovery World Museum in Milwaukee from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and the operators will hold a news conference at 11:30 a.m.
Trek launched B-cycle in 2008, in partnership with Humana and Crispin Porter + Bogusky. The first system was installed in Denver, Co., and B-cycles are now rolling in eight cities.
Washington D.C. and the Twin Cities also offer bike sharing systems, with different vendors. This blog from Dave Schlabowske provides details on how those systems operate.