Boston’s new bike-share program, dubbed the Hubway, officially launched yesterday with over 600 bicycles geared up and ready to rent. For those unfamiliar with the city’s narrow and winding roads, it has long been derided as one of the least bikeable cities. However, the popular support behind Hubway signals a great change. Boston is now striving to be a center of public bike travel in the Northeast. To celebrate the launch of the system and demonstrate how easy, inexpensive and green biking can be, Hubway members rode 200 of the bikes around the city!

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Photo Credit: A Better City

Mayor Thomas M. Menino led the ribbon-cutting ceremony, proclaiming that “This is a great day for Boston.” Anyone who joins the program can now forswear commuting by car and instead pick up a bike at one of the system’s 61 stations, most of which are clustered around Back Bay, Fenway Park, Boston University and Beacon Hill. Taking a page from other bike-share systems such as Paris’ Véli’b, all Hubway rides under 30 minutes are free for members. Cyclists are then charged for each half hour of riding time afterward.

The new cycle system has not only made commuting easy and emission-free, but comfortable as well. While rail commuters often complain about crowded rides on the T, many of Hubway’s inaugural riders commented on the “super-comfortable” seats of the sturdy three-gear Bixi bikes. To accommodate various trip needs, each bike is also installed with pedal-powered lights and a handy basket in the front.

With the successful launch of Washington, D.C and Boston’s bike-share systems, it is only a matter of time before a New York City bike-share gets rolling.

Via The Boston Globe

Lead Photo Credit: Paul Locke