Although there are no specific plans yet, Bublr Bikes still plans to install stations on Marquette’s campus and create discounts for students in the future.
Kevin Hardman, executive director of Bublr Bikes, said people are excited about the possible expansion of the bike renting service on campus and throughout Milwaukee. The Milwaukee-based non-profit organization allows people to rent out bikes and return them to unmanned stations. It costs $3 for 30 minutes and a 30 day pass for $15 with unlimited 60 minute usages.
His hope is for it to be affordable and close to students and to grow into all areas of the city.
“We’re going to need feedback on where the best spots are from the community and the student body,” Hardman said.
The closest Bublr bike station near Marquette’s campus is located on N. 4th Street. Bublr has 11 stations in Milwaukee, but Hardman is hoping to add 20 or 30 more by the end of this year. The ultimate goal is to have over 100 Bublr stations in the Milwaukee area.
“It’s just another choice for transportation,” Hardman said. “Besides, there’s something just wonderful and fun about a bike.”
Besides offering more choices, Hardman believes it gives a great opportunity to connect to the city without having to use a taxi or wait for the bus.
Paige Liberski, a senior in the College of Business Administration and marketing intern for Bublr Bikes, discovered bike stations while walking the streets of Barcelona. She tweeted at University President Michael Lovell this February asking him to implement the service on campus, and he got in contact with Bublr to talk about a partnership.
“It looked like an easy way to get around,” Liberski said. “It would be convenient. Students wouldn’t have to wait 20 minutes for the bus. They would have a healthier option.”
Although Bublr Bikes is a Milwaukee organization, there are unmanned bike renting stations in nearly 50 U.S. cities. Of the top 25 largest cities, 23 use this type of bike station.
“Ultimately, we want to determine how this can be successful in Milwaukee,” said Hardman. “We want to create a transportation network.”