E-scooters will be back in Milwaukee this summer, along with more Bublr Bikes

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Milwaukee is expanding its modes of travel for residents by bringing back electric scooters and more Bublr Bikes to the city. 

The Department of Public Works (DPW) selected three scooter operators -- Bird, Lime, and Spin -- to participate in a dockless scooter pilot study that will run from June 1 to Nov. 15. 

According to a news release, the 2021 pilot allows three operators with 1,000 scooters per operator, and requires a broader dispersal of scooters city-wide with fewer concentrated downtown, compared to the 2019 pilot.

The pilot is citywide with a total of seven zones to support wider distribution and use. Zone 1 – which encompasses the downtown, near west side, near south side and lower east side – allows a maximum of 300 scooters. The remaining six zones require a minimum 480 scooters in each zone. 

The maximum speed limit for dockless scooters is 15 miles-per-hour. Riders (users) must obey the rules of the road and park responsibly.

Sidewalk riding is illegal and was a common concern during the 2019 pilot which ran from late July 2019 to late November 2019. DPW is in the process of selecting a consultant to conduct sidewalk riding counts.

DPW is also expanding Bublr Bikes, the City's bike share system, by 26 stations and approximately 250 bikes with the support of a federal Congestion Mitigation and AirQuality Grant (CMAQ). DPW worked with community partners and residents to identify sites for expansion, and most stations will be installed in the Bronzeville, Harambee, Midtown, Washington Park, Silver City, Clarke Square, and Walker Square neighborhoods.

Of the approximately 250 bikes, approximately 200 will be new electric-assist bikes (e-bikes) that will greatly increase access to bicycling for people of various ages and abilities.

“The expansion of Bublr Bikes further into Milwaukee neighborhoods reaffirms the City's and Bublr Bikes’ commitment to an equitable bike share system for all Milwaukeeans,” Commissioner of Public Works Jeff Polenske said. “And with a greater number of scooters being spread out throughout Milwaukee compared to 2019, we are greatly increasing transportation options for Black and Latinx neighborhoods.”
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