New low-cost rideshare program in Milwaukee hopes to connect people to jobs in Waukesha County

NOW: New low-cost rideshare program in Milwaukee hopes to connect people to jobs in Waukesha County

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) - A new rideshare program that launched in Milwaukee Monday, Feb. 7, hopes to give people better access to jobs in the suburbs.

FlexRide Milwaukee is helping people who take city buses get to their jobs more easily.

"There's people that take the bus to the end of the line or to a stop near their employer, and they have to walk a mile to get there," Eric Lynde said.

That's where FlexRide Milwaukee is trying to help. Eric Lynde with the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission said the hope is to connect people in Milwaukee to good jobs in Waukesha County. Depending on where you need to go, the rides are either free or $1.50.

"It's an app similar to an Uber or Lyft," Lynde said. "All the flex ride vehicles are labeled on the side with the FlexRide Milwaukee logo. All riders background checked, screened."

Once you get dropped off at the bus stop, you can log into your app and request a ride to your job location.

"The app will tell you how long it will take for your driver to reach you and you can actually follow their path as they get to you," Lynde said.

You can only request a ride from these five MCTS shuttle locations right now:

  • Woodman's/Sam's Club
  • Lovers Lane/ Silver Spring
  • Sherman Phoenix
  • Midtown Center
  • Silver Spring Neighborhood Center

From there, you can request a ride to take you to one of the 11 employer locations out in Waukesha County.

"Our region doesn't have such type of service that can efficiently transport them across the county boundary," Lingqian Ivy Hu said.

UW Milwaukee professor Lingqian Ivy Hu had the idea to start FlexRide. She applied for a $1 million grant through The National Science Foundation. You do have to be accepted in order to use the app.

"The funding supports five vehicles for 16 hours a day," Hu said.

Hu said the grant money will be good for the next nine months. After the pilot program ends, the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission is looking at taking it on.

"The eligibility requirements, you have to be a city of Milwaukee resident and have a job or be interested in working in the Menomonee Falls or Butler area," Hu said.

Amanda Payne, with the Waukesha County Business Alliance, said anyone in Milwaukee who works or is looking for work in Waukesha County should apply. At least 70 people have been accepted so far.

"Great potential solution for health care, manufacturing and lots of those positions," Payne said.

If you would like to apply to use FlexRide, click here.

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