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  • Bublr Bikes Expands Outside of Milwaukee For First Time, Adding 7 New Stations and 75 Bikes Over Weekend in Wauwatosa

    by James Davies | Sep 20, 2016

    More Milwaukee stations coming in October, new suburbs to be added in future

    Milwaukee (September 19, 2016) – Bublr Bikes, Milwaukee’s bike-share system, opened its first stations outside of Milwaukee over the weekend, with 7 stations containing 75 bikes installed and available in Wauwatosa.

    The Bublr Bikes network currently has nearly 50 stations and 425 bicycles. The Wauwatosa expansion will be followed by additional station installations in Milwaukee next month.

    In the coming years, the system plans to expand to over 100 stations and 800 Bublr Bikes in Milwaukee, Wauwatosa, West Allis and Shorewood. Bublr Bikes is actively raising private funds for continued network expansion.

    By the end of October, the Bublr Bikes network will contain over 55 stations and will be larger than systems found in Milwaukee peer cities including Pittsburgh, Columbus, OH, Nashville, Cincinnati, and Indianapolis.

    The new Wauwatosa stations are located at:

    ·         City Hall (57 Watson Ave.)

    ·         Village South (7751 Harwood Ave.)

    ·         W. North Ave. & 69th Street (2276 N. 69th Street)

    ·         W. North Ave. & N. 72nd Street (7172 North Ave.)

    ·         W. North Ave & N. 83rd Street (2299 83rd Street)

    ·         W. North Ave. & Swan Blvd. (2286 N. Swan Blvd.)

    ·         Ludington Triangle (1717 Ludington Ave.)

    Information on using Bublr Bikes is available at BublrBikes.com. Bublr Bikes is on social media at: http://facebook.com/BublrBikes and https://twitter.com/BublrBikes. News media can download Bublr Bikes logos and images at bublrbikes.com/media

    The Bublr Bikes system is a public-private partnership between the City of Milwaukee and Bublr Bikes, with additional support from many other public and private partners. Since Summer 2014, Bublr Bikes, a Milwaukee-based not-for-profit, has launched 40 bike share stations in the City of Milwaukee.

  • It’s official! Metro bike share program launches in DTLA

    by Dave Sotero | Jul 08, 2016

    Los Angeles has officially joined the bike share revolution.  At noon today, hundreds of people who live, work, and play in L.A. converged in Grand Park to launch Metro Bikes, an eagerly anticipated, groundbreaking new bike sharing network that will consist of up to 1,000 shared bicycles at up to 65 stations throughout the downtown area.

    The $11 million project is the joint product of L.A. Metro and the City of Los Angeles, and is the first pilot effort to establish bike sharing throughout Los Angeles County that could potentially bring up to 4,000 bicycles to communities region-wide.

    “The much anticipated launch of bike sharing in Downtown Los Angeles is the latest salvo in Metro’s ongoing transportation revolution,” said John Fasana, Duarte City Council Member and Metro Board Chair.  “Our new transportation services are eroding the exclusive domain of the automobile and giving everyone more affordable, active and sustainable alternatives.”

    Metro worked closely with the City of Los Angeles to strategically place bike share stations at major transit hubs and key destinations of most benefit to people living, working and playing in the downtown area.  Bike share stations are located on both sides of Union Station, L.A. City Hall, Grand Park, the L.A. Convention Center, South Park, Chinatown, the Arts District, the Fashion District, Little Tokyo and other prime spots, most of them within a couple blocks of each other.

    “Downtown L.A. is a fascinating place to explore on two wheels,” said Los Angeles Mayor and Metro Board Second Vice Chair Eric Garcetti. “Metro Bike Share gives Angelenos and visitors an easy, affordable way to experience some of our city’s most incredible sights.”

    Many bike share stations are located close to the Metro Rail and Bus network, giving transit riders direct access to Metro Bikes to easily combine bicycle and transit trips.  The system is the first in the United States to be operated by a transit agency and the first to use a single fare card, the TAP card, for both the transit system and bike share system.

    Downtown Los Angeles is the ideal area to launch bike sharing.  Downtown is the largest employment center in the county, has an exploding residential population, and is home to ubiquitous and growing transit system.  It is also a top tourist destination, with major world-class sports, entertainment, dining, cultural and tourist destinations throughout numerous downtown districts.  Metro and the city selected bike share locations that created better access to museums, libraries, schools, retail, employment, and residential areas.

    “Bike Sharing puts downtown at your pedals – from the murals of the Arts District to the Chinatown gates to Skyspace in the Financial District,” said Seleta Reynolds, LADOT General Manager. “We want it to help people connect the dots in a fun and healthy way.”

    To use the bike share system, customers can purchase a monthly or annual flex pass at www.metro.net/bikeshare. New customers will receive their TAP card in the mail. Existing TAP card holders have the option of registering their current TAP card in the system and simply adding bike share access to it.  Starting August 1, people will be able to walk up to a bike share station and check out a bike by paying with a credit card.

    Pass holders will use their Metro bike share-registered TAP card to access any Metro Bike from a dock at a station. Bike share-registered TAP cards identify each user to both Metro bike share and Metro transit lines. As with all TAP cards, transit fares can be loaded onto a bike share-registered TAP card at any Metro ticket vending machine, online at taptogo.net or at any of the hundreds of TAP vending locations across the county.

    Users can download a special Metro Bike Share App available on iOS and Android that will enable them to buy a pass, check bike and dock availability, and find the nearest station to their location, among other features.   

    The Metro bike share fare structure is designed to be flexible and affordable for all users. The agency has created three simple pass options:  

    • A 30-day pass is $20. All trips 30 minutes or less are free and $1.75 per 30 minutes thereafter. This pass option is best if the user expects to take more than five trips per month. People use their registered TAP card to get bikes directly from docks and the pass renews 30 days after initial purchase.
    • A Flex Pass is $40 per year. All trips 30 minutes or less are $1.75 and $1.75 per 30 minutes thereafter. This option is best if users expect to take two to five trips per month or want the convenience of using their TAP card to get a bike directly from the dock.

     

    • A Walk-Up is $3.50 for 30 minutes. This option will be available starting August 1. All trips 30 minutes or less are $3.50, and $3.50 per 30 minutes thereafter. An introductory 50 percent discount rate will be offered in August-September.  This option is best for tourists and visitors to downtown LA. Users can pay per trip using their credit card at any station kiosk. No TAP card is needed for the Walk-Up.

    Metro has ensured the system is equitable for all users. The agency distributed 40,000 Annual Flex Pass coupons for Metro Rider Relief participants to try the system at a low cost.  The program also has grant funding for Metro partners to conduct outreach to disadvantaged communities and to measure equity as the system grows.  

    The program is planned to expand to many other communities within L.A. County including Pasadena, North Hollywood, Burbank, Huntington Park, Venice, Marina Del Rey, East L.A., and San Gabriel Valley to create a regionwide system of more than 4,000 bicycles pending board approval.

    The system will be operated by Bicycle Transit Systems, with bikes and stations provided by BCycle, a unit of Trek Bicycles of Wisconsin. These companies have successfully launched and/or operate more than 40 bike share systems in metropolitan areas in the United States and abroad.

    “Bicycle Transit Systems is committed to helping Metro Bike Share become a culture-changing blockbuster, by providing customers with an incredible, and safe, customer experience by Angelenos for Angelenos,” said Allison Cohen, CEO of BTS. “Metro Bike Share headquarters are based in Downtown L.A., and our diverse set of employees looks forward to providing Los Angeles County a safe and world-class service that we believe will expand rapidly.”

  • Bublr Bikes Sets Weekend Ridership Record

    by Kevin Hardman | Jul 05, 2016

    Unlimited Bublr rides on Tuesday July 5th to thank users and all Milwaukeeans

    Bublr Bikes, Milwaukee’s bike share system, saw a record number of trips this past weekend. Over 2,100 trips were recorded during the Friday-Saturday-Sunday weekend which is more than 1,000 trips higher than the previous three-day record.

    “Bublr Bikes saw unprecedented usage this past weekend,” Kevin Hardman, Bublr Bikes Executive Director, said. “Not only did Bublr Bikes make it easier for people to get to Summerfest and the fireworks, Bublr also helped people travel all over downtown Milwaukee and the adjoining neighborhoods.”

    Bublr Bikes offers the lowest cost of entry, for walk-up customers, of any bike share system in the country at $3 for a 30 min. Single Ride. Bublr Bikes also offers one of the country’s only Pay as You Go passes which discounts the walk-up price down to $2/30 mins. Over 75% of this past weekend’s riders were either Single Ride or Pay as You Go customers. A Single Ride is purchased at any Bublr Bikes station using a valid credit. Bublr Passes, including the Pay As You Go pass, are purchased online at http://bublrbikes.com/pricing/.

    To mark this important usage record and to thank its riders, Bublr is offering UNLIMITED 30-min Bublr rides on Tuesday, July 5th, 2016. To redeem a FREE Bublr Bikes ride, users enter in code “070516” at any Bublr Bikes station. The code is valid for unlimited FREE 30-minute Bublr rides all day. A ride ends when the Bublr is returned to a Bublr Bikes station. Rides over 30 minutes will cost $3/each additional 30 minutes. A credit card is required to check out a Bublr Bike.

    “The staff and Board of Directors are so honored that Bublr is becoming such an important and used Milwaukee asset,” said Kevin Hardman. “A big thanks to everyone who rides Bublr Bikes and who supports our work. We hope you’ll take free rides on us!”
  • Milwaukee Youth Honored as Certified Bicycle Mechanics

    by Kevin Hardman | Jun 07, 2016

    Yesterday Bublr Bikes, along with our partners at Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee and DreamBikes, honored the first graduates of our Bike Repair and Maintenance Certification Program.  Latrell Turner, Jerome White and Kadeam Wilson, joined by their families, were awarded certificates for completing what is believed to be the country’s first bike-share mechanics certification. Armando Ramirez also earned the certificate but was unable to attend the ceremony due to a conflict in his schedule.

    The Bike Repair and Maintenance Certification is one-of-a-kind program that provides motivated young adults a 24-week course in bike repair focusing on diagnostics, proper tool uses and ultimately maintenance of bike share bikes. Students begin with an 8-week course at Boys & Girls Club B!KE program learning the basics of bicycle maintenance and tool usage. During this time, a Bublr Bikes representative speaks to the class introducing them to bike share and Bublr Bikes growth plans. Following the Boys & Girls Club’s class, students participate in an 8-week paid internship at DreamBikes where they learn about bike repair, the operations of a bike shop and basics of customer service.

    During the Boys & Girls Club’s classes and DreamBikes internship, students are given eight opportunities to visit the Bublr Bikes shop and learn more about the bike share system’s operations. Students who attend at least four of the eight sessions are eligible to continue on for an 8 week paid bike mechanics internship at Bublr Bikes. At the conclusion of the 8-week internship, students are given a final exam. The exam tests their knowledge on all aspects of bicycle maintenance with a specific focus on bike share bicycles and equipment. Those who pass are awarded a Bike Repair and Maintenance Certification.



    From left to right, Jerome White, Kadeam Wilson, Latrell Turner and John Fleckenstein

    A very special thanks to John Fleckenstein. John is committed to better bicycling and to giving Milwaukee youth important hands-on mechanical experience. This program would not be possible without John’s support and John’s leadership. Thank you John!
  • THE STORY OF “BIKE SHARE”

    by NDSU Student Government | May 20, 2016

    In the 2011-2012 academic year, the concept of Bike Share was explored by Student Government in collaboration with a member of the Fargo City Commission.

    • This year was dedicated to researching the vendor options, potential integration at NDSU and in the City of Fargo, budget/cost, and student feedback from multiple methods.
    • A reserve request to start the program failed in Senate due to the need for additional information.

     

    In the 2012-2013 academic year, Student Government took this information and developed more detailed program logistics and implementation programming.

    • Members of Student Government that were involved in the previous year and the current year continued with work on this program, and members that finished their terms also remained involved in the program development.
    • Initial explorations involving our weather, budgeting/costs, and the needs of the students were investigated in further detail.
    • A reserve request was discussed at length in the budgeting meeting in which resulted in a passing vote. This was for the amount of $88,000 to be put toward capital costs in startup that needed to be spent by the end of the fiscal year (June 30, 2013).
    • At this same budgeting meeting, there was legislation to reallocate additional reserve funds. The final bill that was passed which allocated $65,000 for the 2013-2014 fiscal year to be used toward the operations of the Bike Share program once it was started. This money was paid out to Campus Recreation and Intramurals and was placed in their budget under a line item specific to only the formation of a Bike Share program. This money was transferred in August 2013 (the beginning of the new fiscal year).
    • The planning team consisting of student government past and present that had been working on this project continued through the summer and found that the logistical details for startup required more time than was available given the fiscal year ended June 30, 2013 and reserve request money had to be spent by this date. This $88,000 was not spent, and was then rolled back into the reserve account (which is where it came from).
    • Additional challenges with this date occurred as a result of a change by the primary sponsor at that time, a large regional company. This company made an internal decision to postpone sponsorship as they had some other priorities at that time. They did not exclude the opportunity to sponsor in the future as they expressed value in the program and saw opportunity in future partnership.

     

    In the 2013-2014 academic year was one in which the program budget had to be reevaluated and recalculated.

    • Given the withdrawal of the primary sponsor as well as the start of a new fiscal year, this became a process that took the fall semester.
    • The planning team solicited and secured multiple smaller sponsors in lieu of a primary sponsor. Such parties included: Dakota Medical Foundation, Xcel Energy, Sanford Health, Kilbourne Group, Swanson Health, Forum Communications, and Susan Mathison. There were additional station sponsors as well.
    • The planning team also prepared a Powerpoint presentation for the Student Senate as well as other members of Student Government. A series of four open forums were planned and each Student Senator received a call, email, and texts in order to inform them of the meetings. All senators attended meetings as well as had opportunity to contact and converse with the planning team in order to make an informed decision about the program and change in funding.
    • At the budgeting meeting, extensive discussion about the unspent $65,000 allocation that was for Bike Share operational expenses in the 2013-2014 year. This was decided to be used for capital costs instead of operational costs in light of the sponsorship challenges.
    • Also at the budgeting meeting, the budget for 2014-2015 fiscal year was approved. Within this, there is a line item for $65,000 for operational expenses for the Bike Share program.
    • At the close of this meeting, the target for startup of the program was understood to be fall 2014. The supplier was determined to be B-Cycle and a local biking non-profit (Great Rides Fargo Inc.) was aiding in the intended summer planning for the program. They solicited two members from Student Government to act as representatives of NDSU students in continued formation of the program over summer 2014. One position is to be held by the Executive Commissioner of Finance (Preston Gilderhus for the 2014-2015 year) and the other was to be determined by the Student Senate (Chris McEwen for the 2014-2015 year).
    • No further decisions on the Bike Share program were made in this academic year.

     

    In the 2014-2015 academic year, a bulk of the planning logistics commenced in the summer of 2014. Nine in-person meetings as well as numerous conference calls and extensive email communication took place.

    • One provision that NDSU required of B-Cycle was the integration of the Bison card for use of the system. The intention is that all valid students can fill out a liability waiver, much like what is used at the NDSU Wellness Center. At this point the student would be immediately approved to be able to swipe their Bison card for access to checking out a bike for a determined time period. This is called multi-frequency, radio frequency identification or MF-RFID with real-time API approval.
    • This technology requirement of MF-RFID was ahead of B-cycle’s current technological capabilities and required extensive research and development in order to get the Bison card to work in addition to the ability of credit cards to work for community members.
    • This dual reading process took additional time and research to get to an implementation date and was in the testing phase in Madison, WI by the end of August 2014.
    • Following testing, B-cycle needed ample time to assimilate data for proactive adjustments prior to launch in Fargo.
    • It should be noted that this system is the FIRST OF THIS KIND in which student cards are integrated which allows for bypass of credit card use by students of a sponsoring school. NDSU is innovating the industry by collaborating with Bcycle on this custom development.
    • The second provision that NDSU required of B-cycle was the custom color of the bikes to be Bison green. This custom order required a lead time of six months of which commenced in April resulting in an arrival target of October in Fargo, ND.
    • In light of the technological research and development stretching into the fall as well as the custom bikes arriving in October, the Board of Directors had to make the decision to ensure that all of these components are in place as intended for a full launch. This resulted in the unanimous vote of the Board to delay launch to Spring 2015. This delay of launch would allow for the following:
    • Completion of the MF-RFID development and testing as well as adjustments for launch
    • The fall semester to have B-cycle send a bike, kiosk, and dock to NDSU for Student Government to use to educate and engage students on the use of the system
    • Save in operational expenses since a portion of this year’s expenses will not be needed due to a delayed launch. This money is currently in the discussion/pro-rating process as determined by Student Government and NDSU Administration (Finance and General Counsel).

     

    If you have additional questions, please contact the following in Student Government:

    Executive Commissioner of Finance, Preston Gilderhus

    Vice-Chair of Senate, Chris McEwen

    Executive Commissioner of Public Relations, Amy L. Nash

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