Hubway is metro-Boston's public bike share program, with more than 1600 bikes at 160+ stations across Boston, Brookline, Cambridge and Somerville. Hubway is owned by the municipalities of Boston, Brookline, Cambridge and Somerville, and operated by Motivate. Hubway launched in 2011 and has become an essential part of our transportation network. It's fun, efficient and affordable – not to mention healthy and good for the environment.
Hubway, like other bike share systems, consists of a fleet of specially designed, sturdy and durable bikes that are locked into a network of docking stations throughout the city. The bikes can be unlocked from one station and returned to any other station in the system, making them ideal for one-way trips. People use bike share to commute to work or school, run errands, get to appointments or social engagements, and more.
The History of Hubway
The Boston Bikes program was founded, and the City of Boston decided to bring bike sharing to the Boston area. Since they knew that it had to span municipal boundaries, The Metropolitan Area Planning Council joined the effort, leading the open bidding process that led to the selection of Motivate as the preferred company to operate Boston's bike share program. Soon after, Brookline, Cambridge and Somerville committed to bringing this exciting new initiative to their communities as well.
In April of 2011, Boston signed a contract with Alta Bicycle Share to operate the Hubway system. Alta Bicycle Share has since been purchased by Motivate, who took over the contract in January 2015.
The Hubway system launched on July 28, 2011 with 600 bicycles and 60 stations throughout Boston. Far exceeding expectations, within 10 weeks Hubway bikes had logged more than 100,000 rides, and by the end of November had more than 3,600 annual members. A strong community of users formed during this first season that took an active part in the success of the system.
Hubway closed for its first winter, but membership continued to grow in anticipation of the return of the bikes in the spring. Brookline, Cambridge and Somerville each signed contracts with Motivate, and the four municipalities signed a collective regional agreement, layout out how they would continue to work together to create a unified regional system, making Hubway the first truly regional bike sharing system in the U.S.
Stations and bikes began to reappear in Boston in March of 2012. In less than a month after the relaunch, Hubway riders logged an additional 50,000 rides, proving that bike share was not a passing fad.
During the summer of 2012, Brookline, Cambridge and Somerville launched stations, and Boston further expanded its fleet of stations and bikes.
By the end of the 2012 riding season, 108 new stations and over 1,000 bikes were in service on both sides of the Charles, ensuring that Hubway had become an integral part of life in metro-Boston.
Despite being closed for winters, Hubway riders surpassed the 1,000,000 ride mark in July 2013.
By Thanksgiving 2013, Hubway riders had taken 1,500,000 rides. In mid-November, the City of Cambridge announced that it would participate in a pilot program to maintain Hubway operations year-round for the first time (which they have continued in subsequent winters).
By the end of the year, Hubway had nearly 10,000 annual members, and in 2013 alone had sold more than 79,000 Day Passes, 9,000 3-Day Passes, and 2,000 Monthly Memberships.
The system has continued to expand, and currently has more than 160 stations with 1600 shared bikes. By the fall, this number will grow to 185 stations and 1750 bicycles, as Hubway expands to even more neighborhoods through the metro area. Hubway hit 4 million rides in April 2016, and the 5 millionth ride is expected to be taken in the fall of 2016.
About the Operator
Hubway is operated by Motivate, the global leader in bike share. A full-service bike share operator and technology innovator, Motivate works to re-envision how people experience and move around cities.
Motivate currently manages all of the largest bike share systems in the United States and many of the largest systems in the world, including Ford GoBike (California Bay Area), Citi Bike (New York and Jersey City), Divvy (Chicago), CoGo Bike Share (Columbus, Ohio), Capital Bike Share (Washington, D.C., Arlington and Alexandria, Va., and Montgomery County, Md.), Hubway (Boston, Somerville, Cambridge and Brookline, Mass.), Bike Chattanooga (Tenn.) and BIKETOWN (Portland, OR).
Motivate will add thousands of bikes to its current systems as Ford GoBike grows bike share tenfold in the San Francisco Bay Area starting in summer 2017.