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Boston Launching Bike-Sharing Program

Published April 22, 2011

BOSTON, MA (BRAIN)—Boston Mayor Thomas Menino has signed a contract with Alta Bicycle Share, which will install a bike share system in Boston that will launch by summer. Dubbed Hubway, it will comprise 61 stations with 600 bikes.

“Over the past four years, we have taken great strides toward making Boston a city that welcomes and encourages bicycling but this innovative bike share system may be the most significant step yet,” Mayor Menino said. “We have worked tirelessly to build the infrastructure necessary to support such a system and we are confident that there is no better time to make Hubway a reality.”

Hubway will be installed, maintained and operated by Alta Bicycle Share of Portland, Oregon, but the solar-powered automated system was developed by Public Bike System Company, which also runs the Bixi system in Montreal. Hubway will feature swipe card payments and will cost about $5 per day with free trips that are 30 minutes or less, and $85 annual memberships. The planning for Hubway began in 2008.

Hubway is designed to be fully regional and at full size, the system could reach as many as 5,000 bikes. Hubway is completely funded by grants totaling $4.5 million including $3 million from the Federal Transit Administration, $450,000 from the Boston Public Health Commission and $250,000 from the Metropolitan Planning Organization’s Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality grant program. In addition to the grant funding, station sponsorships and revenue through a separate advertising program, as well as income generated by memberships and one-time payments by individual users are expected to cover the annual operating costs. Currently, 11 sponsorships have been secured for Hubway worth $1.5 million over three years.

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