MONONA, Wis. (WMTV) - The newest bicycling technology has made its way to Monona. Madison BCycle unveiled two new electric-assist bike stations in Monona Friday morning, the first BCycle stations outside of Madison.
They’re both located along the Lake Loop bike path, one at Schluter Beach Park and another at Grand Crossing Park. A partnership between the City of Monona Parks and Recreation Department and Madison BCycle made it possible.
Officials say this will help give residents a sustainable and accessible mode of transportation and support active lifestyles.
“Getting people out and being active and healthy is a huge priority for us. To showcase the parks that we do have in Monona is wonderful for all of our visitors and for our residents to have an easier access to try BCycle and electric bikes and different modes of transportation, reducing the amount of cars on the road,” said City of Monona Parks and Recreation Department Director, Jake Anderson.
The project has been in the works for three years and was approved this year by the Monona Parks and Recreation Board and City Council with the help of funding from corporate sponsors.
“The initial cost is $22,500 for the installation and then there’s annual operating fees that go to pay for the maintenance of the bikes and the staff at BCycle and that’s $7,000 for both stations. Those costs are covered by our advertising sponsors,” said Anderson.
Unlike some of the BCycle stations in Madison, these do not have the traditional kiosks for checkout. Instead, riders can rent through a mobile app or a membership card. Each bike has a QR code you can scan with your phone’s camera and instructions for how to unlock the bike.
"When you do go for a ride you can do a daily, monthly, yearly pass and you just have to check in at a different station every 60 minutes,” explained Anderson.
Madison BCycle launched on 2011 and has since established nearly 50 stations inside the city of Madison. More than 300 electric-assist bikes are now available for rent in Madison.