News

Card-As-Key launches today

We’re always looking for ways to make Hubway easier and more convenient. Thanks to a recent software upgrade, existing members are now covered if something should happen to your key fob, and new members can start riding immediately instead of waiting for a key in the mail.

With our new Card-as-Key functionality, you can use the credit or debit card associated with your membership to check out a bike at any station. Simply go to any Hubway kiosk and insert the credit card associated with your account to get a one-time-use ride code. (Don’t worry, you won’t be charged again.) Once you get your ride code, use it to unlock any available bike at the station. To ride again, insert the same credit card to get a new ride code.

New Hubway members will still have two options to get their member key: (1) You can wait to get your key in the mail, which usually takes about a week; OR (2) You can pick up your key at one of our new key dispensers, which can be found at select stations. To find a station with a key dispenser, go to the Station Map and look for the grey key icon.

Want more information on how the Card-as-Key feature works? Check out our updated FAQ page for all the details.

[Boston.com] Your ultimate guide to graduation weekend in Boston

The following is an excerpt of an article that was originally published by Cassie Shortsleeve on Boston.com, on May 16th, 2016.

The best hotels, restaurants, and activities for tourists in town for commencement. Click here to view the entire guide.

Boston is called America’s College Town for a reason. The city is home to 35 colleges and universities, and there are more than 100 in the greater Boston area.

Massachusetts’s capital is also rich with history, a flourishing food scene, and hotels—from old sprawling waterfront properties to new, hip boutique inns—which makes it hard to decide how (and where) to spend your time.

If you’re one of the many entering either Boston or Cambridge this spring for commencement festivities, consider this your guide, courtesy of top travel experts.

What to do:

See the city on two wheels via Hubway
“Take advantage of Boston’s public Hubway bikes to see the city on wheels. Biking along the river is particularly lovely.” You can find station stops all over the city.

View the entire guide here.

Where do you want bikeshare in metro-Boston?

Suggest-a-location is back! With all four system municipalities (Boston, Brookline, Cambridge, Somerville) planning or considering expansion in 2016, and other cities and towns looking to bring Hubway to their communities, now is the time to make your suggestions on Hubway’s Suggest a Location page. The new page enables you to suggest new locations and to leave comments and feedback about other locations that have already been suggested.

View the Suggest a Location page here, and add your feedback today!

[Waltham News Tribune] Waltham makes plea for Hubway bike sharing

The following article was originally published by Bill Whelan in the Waltham News Tribune, on May 10th, 2016.

The Hubway bicycles that cover city streets in Boston might be rolling into Waltham in the future if two city councilors have their way.

The city council accepted a resolution on Monday, May 9, to work with the Metropolitan Area Planning Council to bring a bike-sharing program to Waltham.

“This would be another step to making Waltham a bicycle-friendly city,” said city councilor Robert Logan, a co-sponsor of the resolution along with city councilor George Darcy.

Hubway is a bicycle-sharing service that launched in Boston in 2011 and Cambridge, Somerville and Brookline in 2012. In the first 10 months, Hubway users logged 500,000 rides. There are currently 107 Hubway bike rack rental stations in Boston, 38 in Cambridge, 12 in Somerville and four in Brookline, according to the MAPC.

Logan said the MAPC recently put out a request to receive information on bicycle sharing services and included a list of cities and towns that would be interested in obtaining a bicycle-sharing program. Waltham wasn’t included on that list.

“We don’t have [a bicycle-sharing program] in Waltham and in order for it to get here, an adjacent community would have to get it,” Logan said. “It builds out from the center core.”

Logan suggested the city work with the MAPC and officials from Watertown, an adjacent city that was on the list of interested municipalities, to get bicycle sharing in Waltham.

Darcy expressed his support for the idea at the meeting, adding that more bicycles could reduce the amount of cars on the road.

“It would be great to decrease the traffic. People know how difficult it is to cross the city of Waltham during rush hour,” he said.

The matter was referred to the economic and community development committee. Additionally, the city is holding its annual city bicycle update on Wednesday, May 18 at 6 p.m. in the Government Center auditorium.

[Scout Somerville] Somerville's cyclists are on a roll

The following article was originally published by Jm Lindsay in Scout Somerville, on May 9th, 2016.

Almost eight percent of Somerville’s commuters get to work on a bicycle—and while that percentage may seem small, it actually puts the city in fifth place nationally, according to a 2014 report by the League of American Bicyclists.

“It all stems from [the Curtatone] administration’s push,” says Ward 3 Alderman Bob McWatters, Chairman of the Somerville Traffic and Parking Committee. “They want to be a bikeable and walkable city.”

A lifelong Somerville resident, McWatters thinks small steps have had a big impact when it comes to making the city friendlier and safer for cyclists and pedestrians. “I grew up in the city and I never had a bike lane,” he says. (The city’s first bike lane, on Washington Street, was only built in 2003; its second was installed in 2008.) He lists the bike-sharing system Hubway—which is adding four new locations in Winter Hill and East Somerville in 2016—as an example of a positive change that’s making cycling more accessible. He also points to Neighborways—low-volume residential streets designed to improve pedestrian and cyclist safety—as a “great, effective, low-cost traffic-calming measure.”

Ken Carlson of the Somerville Bicycle Committee agrees that many of the small-scale improvements coming this year and next will go a long way to increase bike safety and overall ridership statistics. And there are big infrastructural changes on the way, too. Bike lanes are currently being added to Beacon Street, which sees up to 400 cyclists per hour during rush hour, making it one of the busiest biking corridors in Greater Boston. Within a year of adding protected bike lanes, Carlson expects that number to increase to 600 per hour.

bay state bike month“When you build safe bicycling infrastructure, you increase the people riding bikes in cities,” he explains. “When you put in protected bike lanes, you increase ridership.”

But not everyone is so enthusiastic about Somerville’s cycling culture. Sam Christy and Zach Hirschtritt, co-founders of the Somerville Bike Kitchen in Davis Square, find that there’s a frustrating disparity of resources between drivers and cyclists, as well as a culture clash between the two groups.

“No amount of paint you’re going to put on the road is going to change driver culture,” laments Hirschtritt in regard to initiatives like Neighborways. Christy adds that, in addition to building better infrastructure, the city could make cyclists and pedestrians feel safer and more welcome by holding motorists accountable for the financial strain they place on the city. “It’d be nice if cars had to fully pay what they actually cost the community,” he says, listing snow removal, parking issues and the physical space cars take up as resources that bikes and pedestrians don’t require.

Asked about Somerville’s consistently high ranking as one of the country’s most bikeable cities, Christy cautions against being too optimistic. “Even in the best situation, 99 percent of the road is [for drivers] and one percent is ours … There’s a real long way to go,” he explains. Adds Hirschtritt, “The streets are designed for cars, the lights are timed for cars. It’s all built around cars.”

Carlson and the Somerville Bicycle Committee understand these frustrations. With the support of the mayor, they want to increase the number of cycling commuters to fifteen percent. To do that, Carlson says that fostering any kind of “us-versus-them” narrative between bicyclists and motorists is counterproductive. “A bicycle is closer to a car than it is to a pedestrian when it comes to how it operates on the road and how it moves,” Carlson says. “If we as cyclists want to gain respect as vehicles on the road, and coexist with other vehicles … we have to give respect to get respect.”

Instead of fighting over which space belongs to whom, Carlson believes that the city should be implementing solutions that will make the roads safer and easier to navigate for everyone. One of the best ways to do that, he says, is by putting in constructed intersections—intersections designed with very clear visibility lines to minimize the chance of a “right hook” by constructing a physical barrier that extends into the intersection, staggering the stop line and giving cyclists a head start, thereby also protecting pedestrians.

To Carlson, nothing is more important than infrastructure. “In the last seven years,” he says, “we’ve added miles and miles of bike lanes, we’ve added safety boxes, we’ve had a change in culture.”

“You can see the change happening,” Carlson adds, “and it’s leading to a healthier environment.