Ask MassBike: City Of Boston Bike Share Program 2010

We get a lot of questions here at MassBike, and we like to think we also give some pretty good answers. We realized that sharing these questions and answers on our website would be a valuable resource to others looking for the same information.

We got this question from John about the bike share program that Boston plans on rolling out this year.

Hi MassBike,

I am excited about the Boston bike share program that is supposed to be in
place this year.
Are there any details yet?
Can I sign up yet?
Are there going to be bikes available at Sullivan Square (on the Orange
Line) ???

Please let me know.


Hello John

The information we know so far about this program was given to us at the City of Boston's Bicycle annual update late last year (2009). You can find our recap on that report here. You can also read the report here (pdf) and Nicole Freedman's (director of bicycle programs for Boston) presentation here (PDF). I have selected the relevant information from both pdf's below for your easy reading. This is what the city has self reported, but from what we know it has not been finalized yet. They as of yet have not finalized where all the stations will be, but if you read below they have the initial stations picked out. As far as I know you cannot sign up yet.

From the report:

Mayor Menino has been working together with the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) and neighboring communities and universities to bring a bike sharing system to Boston in summer 2010. The MAPC released a Request for Proposals and selected Public Bike Systems of Montreal (a.k.a. Bixi) as the vendor. Sponsors are already starting to sign on to the program, and other funding, including a title sponsor, is being sought.

Bike Share has already proven transformative in more than 50 cities on five continents. The program has achieved unparalleled success in changing transportation habits, with significant, measurable effects on greenhouse gas emissions and health concerns such as obesity and diabetes. Boston's Bike Share is projected to produce 635,000 bike trips in its first year and create up to 25 new green jobs.

Boston's Bike Share program will launch with 1,000 bicycles and 85 stations and will grow to 290 stations and 3,000 bicycles in Boston and 2,000 bikes at 150 stations in neighboring communities including Cambridge, Somerville and Brookline. Stations will be located at MBTA stops, universities, hospitals, commercial districts and tourist attractions. The initial launch will place stations in downtown, the South End, Roxbury, South Boston, Fenway, the Longwood Medical Area, and along Massachusetts Ave and Boylston Street.

Bike Share brings cycling into the mainstream by making it convenient, inexpensive, and even hip. Most users are residents, workers, tourists and students, not people who consider themselves cyclists. The design of the bikes favors everyday trips in any clothing, even skirts and suits. Participants access a bike with a swipe of a card and can return it to any station. Users will be able to purchase yearly, monthly, or daily passes, and the first 30 minutes of any ride are free to encourage short trips with frequent turnover of the bicycles.

From the presentation:

Boston (1 year forecast)
85 stations
1,000 bikes
2,319 daily bike trips
11,225 annual subscribers
635,095 annual bike trips
1,905,300 million annual miles

Boston (3 year forecast)
290 stations
3,000 bikes
9,124 daily bike trips
22,500 annual subscribers
2,500,000 annual bike trips
7,500,000 million annual miles

I hope this helps.

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