This article was originally published by Angie Schmitt on the DC.StreetsBlog on November 29th, 2011.
They’ve logged more than 140,000 rides over just four months. And now Boston’s brand new Hubway bike sharing system is packing it in for the cold New England winter.
Boston’s Hubway bike sharing system is celebrating its successful first season with an expansion. Photo: The Boston Globe
But when it returns in the spring, it will be expanding, adding stations in Cambridge, Somerville and Brookline. In total, the barely four-month-old bike sharing system will add 30 stations and roughly 300 bicycles — a 50 percent increase, according to a report from The Boston Globe.
Hubway has come out of the gate roaring, surpassing early ridership figures from some of the country’s most well known bike sharing systems, according to the paper.
“Its first 2½ months, Hubway recorded 100,000 station-to-station rides, significantly eclipsing the pace of similar systems in Minneapolis (where Nice Ride needed six months to reach that mark) and Denver (where B-cycle needed 7½ months).”
And it seems Boston’s neighboring cities and towns were feeling left out of the bike sharing excitement. Jeff Levine, director of planning and community development in Brookline, told the Globe that the “number one question” he gets is, “When is Hubway coming to Brookline?”
Local news site BostInno credited the system with helping make Boston more bike friendly overall. Writer Lisa DeCanio said that despite some lingering ambivalence about biking in Boston, growing enthusiasm cleared the way for the removal of 71 parking spots on Massachusetts Avenue to make way for a bike lane. She called the Hubway a “shining success,” noting that even the Bruins have gotten on board, “with players riding to and from practice.”
Hearing the news, Network blog Boston Biker was cheerfully smug.
“Woo! And this after everyone thought the streets would run red with the blood of a thousand dead Hubway cyclists … seems that Boston city streets are not [as] rough and tumble for cyclists as they used to be.”
Hubway was funded in part with a $3 million grant from the Federal Transit Administration. The Boston region’s Metropolitan Area Planning Council is overseeing the expansion.