MILWAUKEE — A new rideshare service in Milwaukee is hoping to connect people on the city's north side with jobs in northwest suburbs. FlexRide Milwaukee will launch early next month and is a partnership between the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission (SEWRPC) and UW Milwaukee. Right now it's just a pilot program, but if things go well it could expand.
"There's a better way to connect people who can't drive or don't drive, particularly from neighborhoods in the city of Milwaukee to jobs that are located beyond where the transit system reaches right now," said SEWRPC Executive Director Kevin Muhs.
Users will download an app that connects them with a ride from one of five locations to a place of employment in Menomonee Falls or Butler. SEWRPC said the app is similar to Uber or Lyft. The five locations are on the map below and are already serviced by MCTS bus lines.
Once at one of the predetermined locations, users will be picked up by a shuttle. From locations 1 and 2 on the map, rides are free to and from work. From locations 3, 4 and 5 rides are $1.50 each way.
"We know that underemployed people on the north side of Milwaukee certainly deserve access to just as many job opportunities as those of us who drive around, so this is one way to try and connect those and make sure people have access to those jobs," Muhs said.
According to SEWRPC, 1 in 4 households in Milwaukee don't have a car.
But it's not just employees and job hunters a program like this might benefit. It may also help employers tackle the worker shortage.
"I think it's a potential solution for a lot of industries," said Amanda Payne with the Waukesha County Business Alliance. "We've had a lot of interest from the manufacturing industry and a lot from the Healthcare industry."
If you're interested in signing up for the program, click here. Employers are also encouraged to reach out to find out more about the program.