By Ethan Duran
On Dec.18, representatives from Bublr Bikes and the Milwaukee Country Transit System met to celebrate the opening of a new bike sharing station on the intersection of North 17th St. and West Brown St. Located at Johnson Park. The new bike sharing station had 12 light blue stalls occupied by nine new Bublr bikes and three vacant stalls for incoming riders. The station also sat on the bus stop for the Route 23 and Blue Line bus, it’s also located across from the MCTS headquarters.
There was still fresh dirt on the ground when MCTS and Bublr Bikes personnel took part in the “Docking of the Bublr,” a tradition where people detach the bikes from the new station and all dock them into their stalls in unison. The event started off with Matthew Sliker, MCTS’s Integrated Marketing Manager, who made a speech from behind the podium at Johnson Park. Afterward, Sliker introduced James Davies, Senior Director of Operations of Bublr Bikes who said a few words to the crowd.
“All strong communities should focus on transit,” Matthew Sliker said. “A partnership with Bublr Bikes, MCTS, it makes it a little easier for people to get around.” This is the first Bublr station in the Triangle neighborhood and surrounding neighborhoods. Sliker said the idea of setting up a Bublr station on 17th and Brown was to connect the local neighborhoods to the Marquette Campus and Downtown.
James Davies said that opening a Bublr sharing station here was important because bike sharing gives people another way to get around the city.
“It gives people an option to be more active in their community,” Davies said. “I also really think you experience your community different on bike or on foot.”
Construction of the station had begun in late summer but didn’t open until winter due to permit processing. According to Davies, Tuesday just happened to be the time when the station was complete.
Davies said that the city had hopes to turn West Brown St. into a ‘Bike Boulevard’, a concept for a street more suited for bikes and pedestrians. The design document for bicycle boulevards was from the National Association of City Transportation Officials website.
“Cars are still allowed, but the design elements are such that bikes and pedestrians are the focus,” Davies said about the possible bicycle boulevards.
The decision to open the station on 17th St. was from a joint discussion with Bublr and MCTS. Both organizations have held a close relationship since Bublr’s earliest projects back in 2016.