The City of Boston has officially enlisted bike sharing in the fight against obesity. Under the recently launched “Prescribe-a-Bike” program, Boston Medical Center doctors can now write low-income patients prescriptions for a $5 subsidized one-year membership to the Hubway bike-share system. The annual subscription would give qualifying patients access to Hubway’s 1,100 bikes at 130 locations.
According to Kate Walsh, chief executive of Boston Medical Center, one in four low-income Bostonians are obese. To encourage physical activity, more and more doctors have started recommending exercise prescriptions to patients, rather than medication. “There is no other program like this in the country,” says Mayor Marty Walsh to Boston Magazine. “Prescribe-a-Bike makes the link between health and transportation, and ensures that more residents can access the Hubway bike share system.”
Prescribe-a-Bike program slashes the annual bike-share dues by $80 and would also gives enrollees a free helmet. All Hubway riders are allowed an unlimited number of trips on the bikes as long as each trip is under 30 minutes long. Officials hope that the program will enroll an additional 1,000 memberships.
Via Boston Magazine
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