BOSTON - An enthusiastic group of cyclists from Boston's "Most Bike Friendly Business," Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, met up with Mayor Thomas M. Menino and the city's bike czarina, Nicole Freedman to help launch Boston's
New Balance Hubway bike share program Thursday.
"Beth Israel Deaconess has a strong commitment to sustainable transportation and biking is an important part of that commitment," said Bill Burley, Manager of Real Estate and Transportation Programs. "In 2010 BIDMC was honored as Boston's Most Bike Friendly Business and for two years in a row we have received Boston's Gold Bike Friendly Business Award."
Hubway is placing 600 bikes in 61 stations throughout Boston and Cambridge. BIDMC's cycling contingent rode 13 of those bikes from the launch event at City Hall Plaza back to the medical center.
An early supporter of Hubway, BIDMC is hosting three bike share locations. The first two have already been installed - one on the Longwood Avenue side of the Shapiro Clinical Center and a second on Overland Street at Research North. A third station will be installed later this year outside the Pilgrim parking garage on Longwood Avenue.
Hubway is modeled after similar successful programs in Paris and more recently in Washington, DC. It works much like Zipcar where members pay an annual fee to rent bicycles for short term use. Subscribers receive a key that allows them to access any of the city's 600 bikes, 24-hours a day seven days a week, year round, except winter.
Subscribing riders simply unlock a bike from one of the Hubway stations, pedal to another station and lock the bike back up. Rides under 30 minutes are free. After that it costs about two dollars per half hour of usage. The bikes have lights and reflectors, but riders need to supply their own helmets.
Nonsubscribers can purchase a one or three-day pass giving them the same access and privileges as subscribers.
In other cities, bike sharing has been successful at getting people out of their cars, reducing congestion and emissions, and that's the goal in Boston too. BIDMC shares the city's green transit goal and has a medical center wide target of reducing the number of commuters who drive alone to work by five percent.
"We're excited to be able to offer our employees and others in the Longwood medical area this great and fun alternative to driving." said Jane Matlaw, Director of Community Relations.
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center is a patient care, teaching and research affiliate of Harvard Medical School, and currently
ranks third in National Institutes of Health funding among independent hospitals nationwide. BIDMC is clinically affiliated with the Joslin Diabetes Center and is a research partner of Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center. BIDMC is the official hospital of the Boston Red Sox. For more information, visit