The more bike sharing gets popular in Boston (and trust me, Hubway definitely has lots of attention), the more we need to talk about non-regular bike riders and safety. One of the cooler things to come to the city, in what will be a first on American streets, will be helmet rentals similar to those in international biking communities. No more lugging around a bike and a helmet, as you’ll be able to snag one on the go for $2 and return it at the end of your ride. You can thank a bunch of smart MIT guys at HelmetHub for this one.
Now if only they had hairmets, so I don’t ruin my ‘do.
Up until this morning, there hadn’t been an option for Hubway memberships in between the one day or full season pass. Good news if you know that one of the summer months will have you traveling around town more – Hubway has introduced a $20 monthly sub.
Despite the snowflurries weird white rain falling outside, I spy a hint of spring on Boston’s streets.
Hubway, the immensely popular bike sharing service that serves Boston, Brookline, Cambridge and Somerville, has commenced the rollout of its modular stations on city streets, despite the cold weather. Hubway’s website remarks an official 2013 launch is “soon”, but also that we may see riders navigating city streets as soon as late March. The service closed for the season at the end of November 2012.
Sure, I was glad that the environmentally friendly system existed in this city, but I never thought I’d want to use it. It’s like how I’m glad the Blue Line exists, even though I never use it, or that there’s a dog park down the road, even though I’ve got no pet to call my own. For a long time, Hubway seemed like little more than system of clunky bikes piloted poorly by tourists from beyond the city limits, not something that’d appeal to a bike owner like me.
Oh, how wrong I was. In fact, it’s opened up a whole new world of commuting for me. And now I’m feeling a bit mournful to learn the system is packing up for the season, shutting down operations at 11:59 p.m. on Nov. 28.
Hubway has been expanding all over the city and across the river and I think it’s a pretty great concept. As a biker myself, I think it’s the best way to get around the city. You can move on your own time (not the MBTA’s) and don’t have to worry about parking, gas or grid-locked traffic (mostly).
But I’ve had one major issue with Hubway, and that is the lack of access to helmets. I ride Boston’s streets every day and while I do enjoy it, it’s no leisurely cruise. There’s the constant danger of clueless drivers that will cut you off without batting an eye or throw their door open just as you pass by. Helmet-hair be damned, I’ve had too many close calls to feel comfortable riding without out one. Continue reading →