Wisconsin-based Trek Bicycles have donated US$1 million to kick-start a new B-Cycle bike sharing program in the state’s capital city of Madison. The initial installment will include 35 B-cycle stations and a total of 350 bicycles, which should be ready for public use this spring.
Trek were founding partners of the B-Cycle bike sharing program and they manufacture the B-Cycle bikes. “Madison is our hometown,” said the company's Eric Bjorling. “It's already a great bike city and we're committed to making it a world-class bike city.
"B-cycle is something that's going to help the city take a big step in that direction. Trek are donating the initial million dollars for the start-up costs, and a million of funding for each of the next three years.”
Wisconsin is well known for its cycling enthusiasts, ranked second to Washington on the League of American Bicyclists’ nationwide scale of bike-friendly states. It earned gold status in the organization’s awards program that aims to recognize those states that actively support bicycling. Furthermore, Madison earned a gold member status as one of the country’s most bike-friendly communities.
“We anticipate that B-Cycle will be a huge success in Madison,” said Bjorling. “Madison has the infrastructure, culture and population to make this program work. If the initial reaction from the public is an indicator, B-Cycle will be great for Madison.”
B-Cycle is a partnership between Trek Bicycles, Crispin Porter + Bogusky and Humana. The funding for the Madison B-Cycle is provided exclusively through Trek Bicycles and the city of Madison, which has pledged $100,000 for the next three years to offset some of the operational costs.
B-Cycle program gaining ground
Colorado is the first state to have two B-Cycle programs. The first launched last year in Denver, while Boulder — home to one of B-Cycle's founding partners, Crispin Porter + Bogusky advertising agency — announced their program will be up and running this spring.
“Denver B-cycle was pivotal in the sense that it was our first installation and has served as the testing grounds for B-Cycle as a whole,” Bjorling said. “B-Cycle wouldn't be where it is today without the commitment and enthusiasm of the people of Denver.”
“The system has seen great success in that city and the lessons we've learned there have created a better experience for everybody,” he added. “Boulder is very much like Madison; well-educated, bike savvy and the home of one of B-Cycle's partners. They're a community that will embrace bike share and we're very excited to see the results it has for that town.”
B-Cycle bike sharing programs are also running in Chicago, Des Moines, Hawaii, Louisville and San Antonio.