Hubway Bike Sharing Service to Add 11 Boston Stations — None in Jamaica Plain

The growing network of shared bikes is adding 11 Boston stations soon. But Jamaica Plain still won't have any.

You've seen tourists and commuters pedaling along the city's streets on the unmistakeable "Hubway" shared bicycles. Or perhaps you're among the network's growing legion of users.

Either way, expect more of the shared bikes soon, as the city opens 11 new Hubway stations. In this crop of new stations, none are in JP. However, planners do envision one day adding JP to the network.

The expansion will add 400 bikes to the system, according to the Herald. Expansion continues outside Boston, too, as 30 more stations will soon be up and working in Somerville, Cambridge and Brookline.

Hubway users pay a membership fee, plus charges for rides more than 30 minutes.

The city's acting bike czar, Kris Carter, said the exact locations of Boston's 11 new Hubway stations are still being worked out.

"We are looking at adding stations in Roxbury, Dorchester, Charlestown, Allston, and in the downtown core of Boston," Carter said in an email to Patch. "I’ll have a more definite list for you once all the permitting and community meetings are completed in the new few weeks. Look for new stations during the middle of August."

One of the two new Charlestown stations would be at Main and Austin. That one has been approved locally. The other would be at Warren and Chelsea. There's a  Thursday evening.

Ajax July 26, 2012 at 10:44 PM
Do people actually use this service? Are tax payer dollars funding it?
Chris Helms (Editor) July 27, 2012 at 12:50 AM
Hi Ajax, yes, it has been very popular. And no tax dollars are used, city officials say. New Balance is the corporate sponsor.
Judy T July 27, 2012 at 04:25 PM
Wildly popular beyond the planners expectations. I just wish the reporter got a reason from the bike czar as to why JP isn't included as part of this latest expansion. Doesn't seem logical seeing how bike-crazy we are here.
Chris Helms (Editor) July 27, 2012 at 04:40 PM
I'm wondering that myself, Judy! I'm learning some of the reasons and hope to do a follow-up post soon.
Michael Halle July 27, 2012 at 07:04 PM
Hi Judy, I can't speak authoritatively, but I can tell you some of the logic that goes into choosing Hubway locations. Hubway works because of the density of stations. If one station is full or empty, someone should ideally be able to get to another one. JP is on the edge of the current network. When stations are relatively close together, it's easier to hop from station to station without going over the "free" half-hour. That also means more bikes are in-station and available for others to use, rather than parked on the street somewhere. Hubway support vehicles also need to be able to service bikes and stations, so the more drawn out they are, the more time it takes to move back and forth. Following this logic, I would expect the first JP locations to be at Jackson Square (extending Roxbury Crossing) and Heath Street (extending Brigham Circle and connecting to the Green and Orange lines at Jackson Square). You might then see Egleston Square (underserved by transit) Hyde Square (Heath to Jackson) and possibly Stonybrook (to bridge Jackson and Egleston). Sam Adams should be a sponsor (or maybe not!): sponsorshop makes a difference. JP's large cycling population probably isn't a major determining factor in locating stations here. In fact, the large number of people with "personal" bikes might work slightly against JP. The City is committed to locate stations with attention to social justice, so less affluent neighborhoods may receive attention first.
Carole Pelissey August 02, 2012 at 12:13 AM
Why hasn't anyone been concerned that these bikes do not come with a helmet? On the site it tells of places you can purchase a helmet...not good enough in my opinion. I can not believe the medical community has not been involved.. if there is a roll out in JP I hope there is a way to have this discussion.
Michael Halle August 02, 2012 at 09:08 AM
Carole, There are basically three ways to approach the helmet issue. The first, and easiest to implement, is to make sure that many local retail outlets sell very inexpensive helmets (something like $7). This is the plan the city has implemented. The second approach is to provide on-site helmet sale or rental. Imagine a helmet vending machine. No such device exists commercially, but Boston Bikes is partnering with a local university to prototype and test one. FInally, there's some sort of shared helmet option. There are serious downsides to this idea: what if a helmet is damaged, but the damage isn't visible? What about cleaning and hygiene? Theft? Fit? (BTW, the helmet kiosk stores used helmets for inspection and cleaning.) As far as the medical community not being involved, Brigham and Women's, Beth Israel Deaconess, and Children's Hospitals are all sponsors. I think it's important to keep risks in perspective. If an individual wants to avoid or lessen the risk of brain injury or death that could result from a bike collision, a helmet is his or her best investment. I never ever ride without one. However, those kinds of horrific crashes are fortunately rare. Meanwhile, Hubway has had more than 360,000 healthy, human-powered, pollution-free, but sometimes unhelmeted trips. Somewhere there's a balance.


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