Yesterday marked the opening of Hubway, Boston’s brand new metropolitan bike-share system. With about 600 bikes scattered over 60 stations, Boston becomes one of a select number of cities in the U.S. to adopt a bike-sharing model that was made popular in Europe.
Here is how it works. You can pre-register or use the system with a credit card. You check out a bike by swiping your card at a bike station. Ride the bike toward your destination and return the bike to any other nearby station. If your ride time is less than half an hour, there is no cost. Ride times between 30 minutes to one hour are $1.50. The costs rise more steeply the longer you have the bike. The idea is to use the bike for a short period of time, so that others can use it too. There is an annual fee (~$60 per year), but shorter options are also possible. Here is a map of the new bike stations in Boston:
The good news is that a similar type of system is also coming to to the Bay Area in just a few months! The Bay Area Air Quality Management District is coordinating an area-wide bike-share system with stations concentrated in San Francisco and other South Bay cities such as San Jose, Mountain View, and Palo Alto. As HuffPost notes, the Bay Area seems a natural place to have a bike-share program since biking is already a popular way of getting around for many folks.
So, next time you travel, see if biking can play a role in how you roll!