MADISON (WSAU) Wisconsin's Capital City is pretty proud of its new bicycle-sharing program. Madison started renting 270 bikes at 27 locations around the city last year. And among other things, the program's first annual report said almost 6,400 riders got healthier by pedaling off a combined 4.3-million calories. They also made the air cleaner, by saving 103,000-pounds of carbons that would have been emitted had those people drove instead of pedaled.
Almost 500 people took advantage of year-long subscriptions to rent what's called "Madison 'B'-cycles" provided by Trek Bicycles of Waterloo. Riders took over 18-thousand trips on those red bikes over 200 days ending December 15th. 38-percent of trips were longer than five miles, and the most used station was on the U-W campus at the Memorial Union. The bike-sharing program will expand this year, as 80 cycles will be added to the fleet. Madison's contract with Trek runs for five years.