Green Bay will shut down the free bike sharing it offered at downtown locations, after three years marred by theft and vandalism, according to a report on wisconsinoutdoorfun.com
Similar initiatives have failed for similar reasons. It seems free means "take it" to far too many individuals.
Bike-sharing systems, like Trek's B-Cycle, have been more successful in keeping their inventory by requiring a credit card swipe and using a subscription system that identifies users. B-Cycle is now operating in 11 locations across the country, including Madison.
According to the news account from Green Bay, city officials have been reviewing a B-Cycle contract, but the negotiations stalled over the cost.
In Madison, Trek picked up the tab for the $2 million in infrastructure - the bikes and the distribution stations - and waived a $100,000 operating fee for the city.
B-Cycle recently displayed its system to Milwaukee city leaders and discussions continue on expansion to the state's largest city. The Trek business is also reported to be one of the finalists in the running to provide 10,000 rental bikes in New York City.