Located in Southern Wisconsin, Madison is the state’s second-largest city, with nearly 250,000 inhabitants. It is bordered by lakes Mendota, Monona, Waubesa, and Kegonsa, giving its nickname “The City of Four Lakes”. Madison has long been identified by its rich political history, specifically its grassroots and counterculture movements. Due to its strong economic growth and high levels of education, Madison is consistently ranked among Forbes’ ten Best Cities. The official city bird of Madison is the plastic pink flamingo.
Madison’s main form of public transportation is its city and regional bus system. It’s also served by Greyhound, and connected to larger nearby cities such as Milwaukee and Chicago by railroad lines. Madison’s citizens commute primarily by car, and there are several carsharing services as an alternative. However, it is an extremely bike-friendly city, with its main downtown thoroughfare closed to cars. There is a high concentration of bike lanes throughout the city and the surrounding areas.