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Pedalroni Ride brings bike share access to public housing youth

Youth from the Carver Park and Hillside areas participated in the Pedalroni Ride on April 15, a pizza party and bike tour through the Beerline trail.

The Bublr Youth Outreach Team organized a slow-ride to warm-up for springtime in anticipation of the spring and summer biking seasons. Youth organizers decided pizza was a key component of the outreach effort, so they called it “Pedalroni.”

“The group rides are planned by our youth outreach team from the ads to promotions. Our goal has been to further engage Milwaukee residents beyond selling Bublr memberships,” said Caressa Givens, Bublr Bikes Community Engagement Coordinator. “We feel that it helps place more importance on bike sharing as a convenient transportation option.”

The outreach team was formed through a unique partnership between Bublr Bikes and the Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee (HACM) to promote equitable use of the bike share system.

HACM members have taken over 500 trips since the start of the initiative. The Pedalroni ride was originally intended as the last official youth-driven event that was scheduled for the pilot program. However, the program was recently extended through the summer of 2017.

“We realized winter was a hinderance in getting people on bikes. We are delighted to have an extension on the grant program,” added Givens. “We will be operating until the end of October and hope to see more enrollment and more planned rides to build on our success to date.”

Launched in June of 2016, the partnership is supported by a grant from the Better Bike Share Partnership. The agencies have been working together to provide assistance, encouragement, and events to promote the use of bike sharing around low-income households within HACM’s Townhomes at Carver Park and Hillside neighborhoods.

The initial goal of recruiting 30 public housing residents to join the Bublr Bike Club was exceeded within the first month of the promotion. That number is nearing 90 today. Residents of HACM housing receive a reduced-priced Bublr membership when they join the club.

“This partnership is a great example of a shared vision for our neighborhoods and our City, that moves us forward with innovative transportation systems that will benefit all of us now and for future generations to come,” said Mayor Tom Barrett.

Key elements of the Bublr/HACM program include the hiring of resident bike ambassadors to work with Bublr staff to facilitate neighborhood rides and demonstrate usage of the Bublr Bikes system, direct engagement with residents to encourage bike share use in their daily routine, identification of and solutions for barriers to residents in using the bike share program, and offering a significantly reduced-price Bublr Annual Pass to all HACM residents.

“We are thankful to the Better Bike Share Partnership for their support of this effort to extend bike share into neighborhoods challenged by insufficient affordable transportation options,” said Tony Pérez, Secretary-Executive Director of HACM. “Bublr presents our residents with a new transportation option, whether it is to get to and from work, to run errands, or for recreation. We are pleased to have this opportunity to partner with Bublr Bikes and DreamBikes to ensure that residents of all incomes can use bike share to connect with the people and activities that are important to them.”

In addition to the station located at 6th Street and Reservoir, Bublr Bikes installed a station last fall at 6th and Galena Streets in the Hillside Terrace public housing development as part of the partnership with HACM.

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