Approve Assembly Bill 169 (Giving Riders a Safe Choice in Responsible Drinking on Commercial Quadricycles)
Bill circulates supporting responsible drinking on Milwaukee Pedal Tavern.
Wisconsin Lawmakers aim to help local businesses reclaim hundreds of thousands of dollars lost due to cancelations
Spurred to help support economic success of local business and further build upon downtown Milwaukee’s recent recognition as a top urban downtown area, the State of Wisconsin is moving forward with a bill to classify commercial quadracycles (Pedal Taverns) as a limousine or motorbus to allow responsible consumption of adult beverages on each Pedal Tavern.
The bill requires that vehicle chauffeurs have a blood alcohol level under .02 percent at all times in order to provide a safe and friendly experience for all riders. Representative Jeff Stone (Republican) is currently circulating the bill through legislation with hopes to move the bill through the Committee, Assembly and State Senate, prior to becoming law.
Milwaukee Pedal Tavern currently operates without alcohol on board due to the decision made on October 5, 2012 by city attorney Adam Stephens. At that time, Stephens reviewed the current state law and because the vehicle did not have a motor to power the bike, the Pedal Tavern was denied the ability to have alcohol consumption on board, as it did not fall under the state definition of a limousine or motor bus.
An increasing tourist attraction since its establishment in 2010 in the Third Ward & Walkers Point, Milwaukee Pedal Tavern has brought more than $2,700,000 in tourism revenue into Milwaukee through hotel, dining and other accommodations, according to statistics compiled with the Wisconsin Department of Tourism's traveler spending formulas.
“The Pedal Tavern is one of Milwaukee’s most popular green attractions,” said Derek Collins, co-owner of the Pedal Tavern. “We want to retain our environmentally friendly approach and opted to work with the state to amend the law to allow responsible drinking on board.”
“Limousines and motorbuses are currently the two exceptions to open intoxicant laws and commercial quadricycles will be the third,” said Collins.
When responsible drinking was banned from the Pedal Tavern, 60 percent of riders cancelled their tours, of which 30 percent were being from outside the metro-Milwaukee area. They consisted of riders from Chicago, Michigan and the western suburbs of Milwaukee, many of which cancelled their entire trips to Milwaukee (including hotel reservations, dinner plans and other activities) due to the decision.
Collins defended the company’s position as a detriment to the community.
“We are not a drunk bus,” said Collins. “We strongly encourage riders to bring water and other non-alcoholic beverages on board. However, alcohol consumed responsibly is a part of the Brew City experience, and our responsible drivers ensure the safety and enjoyment of every rider.”
Responsible drinking laws in other states
Milwaukee and the state of Wisconsin are not the first state to have faced these types of issues. Minnesota has a state law which allows responsible drinking on board similar vehicles. In Boise, Idaho, an amendment passed this winter to support responsible drinking on board, and in Nashville, Tennessee, the city follows what’s known as the plastic cup rule – as long as beverage is in plastic cup it is legal.
“We are confident that when law makers see the precedent of these laws in other states, and the positive economic impact these vehicles create, they will vote in favor of this bill,” said Collins. “We encourage Wisconsin residents to contact their representative in support of this motion.”
The Pedal Tavern brings multiple benefits to the Milwaukee area:
Jobs: The Pedal Tavern currently provides jobs to 25 local employees, 6 full time workers and 19 part timers. Most part time workers have other full time jobs but found this a great way to make some extra income on nights and weekends. Other part-time drivers are students looking to make some extra income.
Tourism: The Pedal Tavern provides hospitality guides for all out-of-town guests including recommendations to local attractions and accommodations. Groups make riding the Pedal Tavern a weekend experience and they rent hotels, eat out at restaurants, and visit other attractions in the city.
Safety: The Pedal Tavern has had over 50,000 riders in three years and everyone has been safe and accident-free. Since 2010 there have been zero incidents with a perfect track record.
“We are excited to work with the city of Milwaukee and take a positive step forward to regulate these vehicles just like other progressive thinking cities. I believe our alderman have the best interest of the city at heart and will make the positive choice to make this a fun, enjoyable experience for all parties,” said Collins.
About the Milwaukee Pedal Tavern
The Pedal Tavern is a 16-passenger bicycle party on wheels. Bikes are supplied with a driverwho can give recommendations for routes and show riders a great time. Imported from Europe, the bikes are perfect for bachelorette parties, birthdays or a night out with friends. Established in 2010, the Milwaukee Pedal Tavern is the second party bike operation in the United States and was started shortly after the first Pedal Pub in Minneapolis.
For more information about the Pedal Tavern visit: http://www.pedaltavern.com/ or call Derek Collins at 414.793.5733.
Follow the Pedal Tavern on Twitter: https://twitter.com/pedaltavern
Follow the Pedal Tavern on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PedalTavern