Downtown Milwaukee bike share program kicks off

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Downtown Milwaukee bike share program kicks off

By Jesse Ritka. CREATED Jul 8, 2013 - UPDATED: Jul 8, 2013

MILWAUKEE – New York City, Chicago and Madison all have one and today, a bicycle sharing program kicked off on Milwaukee’s lakefront.

“You’re going to start seeing the bikes all over!” Bruce Keyes, President of Midwest Bike Share, tells TODAY’S TMJ4’s Jesse Ritka.

The program is just in the pilot stage in Milwaukee.  The only kiosk to check out a bike is located at Discovery World. 

The program will expand to 24 kiosks around downtown by next year.

This was a project two years in the making by members of the Milwaukee biking community like Barry Mainwood. 

“I'm used to seeing the city by bike, and I just think that is something that, it's just fabulous to be able to share with the general public. It allows anybody to walk up, access it, jump on a bike and go for a ride,” Mainwood explains.

Funding for the program came from the City of Milwaukee and private partners. 

“We'll be putting in about $280,000 and we find that's a good way for us to invest in the city and make it easier for people to get around,” Mayor Tom Barrett says. 

He hopes that more private investors will jump on board. “That's what's happened in other cities...the private sector has stepped up, because they recognize the benefits of it.”

When the program gears up, 240 bicycles will be open for the public to rent, starting at eight dollars for the first hour. 

“Once the full system launches, it'll be a membership program, so if you're an annual member for $70, you'll be able to come down and get a half hour of use free,” Keyes explains.

It's a different way to see and cycle Milwaukee for everyone.

Mainwood says, “I always felt like we could really use as a city: to help promote business, for the tourism, to see the lake front, to get around easily.”


Jesse Ritka

Jesse Ritka

Jesse Ritka joined TODAY’S TMJ4 and Storm Team 4 in February 2011 as the “Live at Daybreak” weekend meteorologist. Growing up in Prior Lake, Minnesota, Jesse has always been fascinated by storms.