Tomorrow Boston will join the ranks of cities worldwide that have made space on their streets for futuristic “docks” and a distinctive fleet of simple, two-wheeled machines. Boston’s Hubway Bike Share program was originally set to launch this past Tuesday but last minute the date was changed to Bike Friday July 29th.
What is a bike share? It’s a simple and care-free concept, similar to the way Zipcar works. If you need to travel a short distance and would like to do so quicker than walking, without having to wait for the MBTA or worry about finding a parking space, then simply snag a bike from one of the many bike docks around the city. You don’t have to worry about maintaining the bike or finding a pole to lock it up to. When finished with the bike locate your nearest docking station to return.
In order to take a bike out you will need to be part of the membership program. Sign-up either online or at one of the kiosk stations. The first half hour is free and every half hour thereafter is charged a fee (click here to see pricing). You also have the option to sign up for a 1 day or 3 day membership. The program is geared towards individuals with a short commute. Helmets will not be provided at the docking stations, but upon sign-up there is an option to purchase a Bell Impulse Helmet or you can come into Urban AdvenTours for one of our super snazzy Nutcase Helmets.
Hubway is fully funded by grants totaling $4.5 million. Boston’s equipment and 600 bikes are the same in use as Montreal’s BIXI bike-share program, which is considered one of the most successful in North America. Other cities have been using bike share programs since the mid 90’s. Hangzhou, China currently boasts the world’s largest fleet of share-bikes with 50,000.
Hubway is a unique solution that, ideally, will ease the morning commute. The idea is that commuters will decide to grab a HubBike rather than driving to work or waiting for public transportation. Of course there are some folks that are excited for the program but have not been on a bike for a few years or have never rode in the city. It’s important that everyone on the streets is riding or driving responsibly and safely. Even if you already know Boston, a great way to get acquainted with city bike riding is to go on one of our tours. Who knows you might even learn some facts about Boston that you didn’t already know.
As non-bicycle owners (possibly yourself) test out the Hubway bikes and learn that bikes are probably the best thing ever invented (quicker than most public transportation and better for the environment than vehicles), people are going to want a bicycle of their own. Because we at Urban AdvenTours know all about bike love, we would be more than happy to fit this niche of people for their new baby or even one of our used (but not abused) bikes. We have bikes of all different shapes, sizes and styles, so if you know someone without a special two wheeled lover in their lives (cough YOU cough) or you just want to flirt with the good-looking fleet of bikes, stop by UA and who knows you may walk out with THE ONE.