Bublr Bikes, the City of Milwaukee’s bike share program, is set to come to the UWM campus by the beginning of the 2015 fall semester.
Bublr Bikes launched in 2014 and uses a suite of stations placed throughout the city. The locations of the bike stations are determined by population density and other factors. Bikes are available for short-term rental, and after using the bike the user can return the rented bike to any available station. You can use the mobile app to locate available bikes and stations.
The City of Milwaukee owns the stations and bikes while a non-profit organization operates the system taking care of customer service and maintaining bikes and stations.
UWM will become a major partner in Bublr Bikes through the allocation of student segregated fees. The need for this program was determined by a few factors. First, survey results from the 2012 Office of Sustainability Transportation Survey indicated many students do not have access to a bike, meaning they may not own a bike. Second, Nelson Nygaard Consulting Associates recommended UWM to become a partner with Bublr by investing in the system through student segregated fees in an effort to increase sustainable transportation options at UWM.
This recommendation came after the Physical Environment Committee (P.E.C.) and Parking and Transit hired the firm to evaluate UWM’s transportation system.
The program was expected to come to our campus this semester, but the proposed budget cuts delayed the program until an anticipated late summer launch.
“We were hoping to have this done by this spring, but with the political climate and the budget cuts this has delayed the implementation of bike share,” said Peter Armstrong, member of the Student Association and one of the main students helping to organize Bublr Bikes debut at UWM. “We hope to have the stations on the ground and the bikes in students’ hands by the end of summer.”
Armstrong sees the implementation of bike share on campus as a way to make students less reliant on cars.
“This is a great step forward,” said Armstrong. “We are making progress as a university to say that the automobile is a great option, but it’s not the only option.”
Students that do drive to campus have had troubles with parking, citing parking tickets as a big concern.
“I think that this is a good option for students because I know first hand how easy it is to get parking tickets on campus,” said Kyle Swehla, a senior at UWM.
Other students see a bike share program as a way to explore the city.
“A bike share program would be convenient for students who don’t own a car to explore the city outside of campus,” said Olivia Howe, a junior at UWM. “Milwaukee is already a big biking city, and there’s a lot to see, so it feels right to have one on campus.”
Armstrong hopes that by exposing students to alternative transportation options at the university they will continue to use these options in the future.
“We believe that by providing UWM students with the option to bike that they may create a new behavior and new habit,” said Armstrong “If they’re at UWM for four years and use bike share, when they graduate they may move to a city and not be as car dependent.”