For Immediate Release
July 28, 2011
For More Information Contact:
Mayor's Press Office
Today, surrounded by cycling advocates as well as city and state officials, Mayor Thomas M. Menino launched the cutting-edge New Balance Hubway bike share system that will feature 61 stations and over 600 bikes around the city. The system is operated by Alta Bicycle Share of Portland, OR and includes locations in Kenmore Square, Roxbury, the South End, the Longwood Medical area, Allston, Brighton, the Back Bay and more. New Balance Hubway is a program under Mayor Menino’s nationally recognized Boston Bikes program that he launched to make Boston one of the world’s premiere cycling cities.
“This is a great day for Boston,” Mayor Menino said. “New Balance Hubway promotes a new, environmentally friendly way of getting around and I hope that all residents use the system. Over the past four years, we have taken great strides toward making Boston a city that welcomes and encourages bicycling but this innovative system is the most significant step yet. We have had the goal of going from worst to first, and with Hubway we’re nearly there. I want to thank Senators John Kerry and Scott Brown and Congressmen Michael Capuano and Stephen Lynch for their dedicated hard work in helping to secure crucial grant funding to make such an important project possible.”
“If anyone can transform Boston into a premier bike friendly city it’s Mayor Menino,” Senator John Kerry said. “Bike sharing is an environmentally friendly way to reduce traffic congestion.”
With over 40 stations currently operational and the rest to be installed shortly, the system is fully operated by Alta Bicycle Share, although the equipment is a state-of-the-art, third generation, solar powered automated system developed by Public Bike System Company. New Balance Hubway features “swipe card” payments and costs $5 per day with free trips that are 30 minutes or less, and $85 annual memberships. Since the New Balance Hubway website went live on July 13, over 700 annual memberships have been activated. Similar systems are located in Washington D.C., Montreal, London and Melbourne. The technology allows users to rent bikes from one station and return them at another across the city. Typically, there will be about 10 bikes available at each station.
“Congratulations to the City of Boston and welcome Hubway,” Richard Davey, General Manager of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA), said. “It’s great to have Mayor Menino as a partner in programs that encourage people to adopt healthy habits and seek alternatives to driving. Walking, cycling, taking public transportation – we will continue to work together to educate and encourage people to move towards a healthier lifestyle.”
To encourage subscriptions Mayor Menino and Alta Bicycle Share announced earlier this month that for a limited time new members who register before the launch of the New Balance Hubway bike share system will receive a 30% discount of the annual registration fee. With the discount the standard price of $85 will be $60. Registration for the system is now available online at www.thehubway.com. Discounted subscriptions for low-income residents will be available through the Boston Public Health Commission from August until the end of March.
Also, in preparation for the launch Mayor Menino, in conjunction with MassBike, Livable Streets Alliance, Boston Cyclists Union, Walk Boston, Boston University Police, Northeastern Police and Boston Public Health Commission recently implemented a new enforcement and education campaign to promote safe behavior among cyclists, drivers and pedestrians.
The City identified busy, high-conflict intersections where police will concentrate efforts to enforce traffic rules for both bikes and cars as they pertain to cyclists. Boston police have joined Northeastern University and Boston University police in handing out tickets to motorists and cyclists disobeying the rules of the road and thus creating dangerous situations on the road.
Additionally, City officials are distributing educational literature containing bicycle safety tips to cyclists as well as free helmets provided by the Boston Public Health Commission. Boston Bikes will continue to provide youth cycling classes and to work with bike advocacy groups to spread the word about safe cycling behavior.
The planning for New Balance Hubway began in 2008 and would not have been successful without substantial assistance from the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC), the FTA, the MBTA and the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT). Hubway is specifically designed to be fully regional and at full size, the system could reach as many as 5,000 bikes across Boston, Cambridge, Brookline and Somerville.
“We are thrilled to see bike share officially launch in Boston today, and we look forward to working toward expanding it throughout the city and region in the next few years,” Marc Draisen, Executive Director of the MAPC, said.
“This project is the result of the incredible teamwork amongst so many parties from volunteers and sponsors to the Metropolitan Area Planning Council, Mayor Menino and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts – it’s truly a community project,” Nicole Freedman, director of Boston Bikes, said. “I’m so excited to see just how far this program can go and just how much Boston becomes the great bicycling city it can be.”
New Balance Hubway is funded by a variety of sources including grants, sponsorships, user revenue, donations, and advertisements. Total 3 year costs of equipment and operations total $5.7M Grants totaling $4.5 million including $3 million for the region from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) ($1.8 to be accessed by Boston), $450,000 from the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC), $250,000 from the Public Works Economic Development program and $850,000 from the Metropolitan Planning Organization’s Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) grant program.
“New Balance is proud to partner with the City of Boston to help promote physical fitness and alternative transportation within the City and throughout the region,” Matt LeBretton, Director of Public Affairs for New Balance Athletic Shoe, Inc., said. “We are thrilled to be a part of the launch of New Balance Hubway and to see its residents and visitors have the opportunity to be a part of this innovate program. We commend the Mayor and all of those that have worked to make this vision a reality and we are proud to be able to sponsor the system as a whole with a particular emphasis on helping to bring New Balance Hubway to our neighbors in Allston and Brighton. To go along with being a premier walking city, Boston can now proudly call itself a great biking city as well.”
Currently, 15 sponsorships have been secured for New Balance Hubway worth $1.9 million over three years including $600,000 from New Balance Athletic Shoe, Inc. Boston Bikes will continually seek more. Station sponsors receive naming and logo rights to a station, located typically at or near their property. Station sponsors include:
- Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
- Seaport Square
- Prudential Center
- Boston Red Sox
- Brigham and Women’s Hospital
- Children’s Hospital
- Colleges of the Fenway
- Equity Office/ Putnam Investments
- Fan Pier
- Harvard University
- Landmark Center
- Northeastern University
- Procter & Gamble Gillette
- TD Garden