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One of seven locations around the city. Chris Barlow

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Bicycle ride sharing has come to Wauwatosa with the launch of Bublr Bikes.

Wauwatosa Mayor Kathy Ehley and Bublr Bikes Acting Director James Davies were on hand to assist in the dedication of Wauwatosa's newest business partnership Saturday, Sept. 17 in the Hart's Mills municipal parking lot during the Tosa Farmers Market.

"I think bike share is just a tremendous additional asset for the community," Ehley said. "We are a community that values our outdoor space and our healthy living. We invest in our community and that is something I am very proud of."

The proceedings concluded with a ceremonial docking of the bikes that included encouragement from Davies. He shouted, "Dock it like you mean it," and a group of people, including Ehley, slammed the bikes into their slots signifying the operation was up and running.

"We have a commitment to bike and pedestrian safety and even have a bike and pedestrian committee of Wauwatosa citizens," Ehley said. "They have been a driving force in making this day happen."

To use the bikes, a rider will need a credit card to purchase a single $3 ride, but monthly and yearly passes can also be purchased.  Bike station locations and additional information about usage can be found at bublrbikes.com.

Local resident Danielle Brown is excited to start using the bikes and demonstrated so when she stopped by the booth at the Farmers Market to find out how it all works.

"I like that it is local and user-friendly and a green way of getting around town," Brown said. "I needed to find out more information about it to see how easy it was. I have heard from friends that it’s nice."

Davies believes the residents will use the service because since he began the program, people have been filling his ears with personal anecdotes regarding their bikes.

"I have heard that people are really excited about it," Davies said. "A lot of people say, ‘I got a bike but it has a flat tire in my basement for three years.’ Or, ‘I got a bike but it's really difficult to get it out of my apartment.’ It's just been a really positive response."

Wauwatosa is the first city in southeast Wisconsin outside of Milwaukee to install the Bublr Bikes. Ehley knew that to ensure the success of the program, a multitude of municipalities with multiple stations was required. So they worked closely with Shorewood and West Allis, which are the next sites that will have the bike stations installed.

"Bublr is super excited to be in Tosa," Davies said. "I am looking around and see people riding their bikes and I am excited that Bublr is here to provide another way to get around and experience the beautiful community that this is."

Bublr is a nonprofit organization and works with cities on funding for the stations. In Wauwatosa's case, the city used funds from the state coffers to help pay for the docking stations.

"The backing of cities like Milwaukee and Wauwatosa is the quintessential perfect public-private partnership," Davies said.

The mayor is not only a fan of what the bike stations will bring to Tosa, but is planning to take full use of the program.

"I am very much looking forward to hopping on a bike to get to a restaurant, to get to the village and different places where I end up driving my car, and I would much rather hop on a bike," Ehley said.

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