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Hubway Bike-Share Program Launches in Boston, Massachusetts

On July 28, 2011, Boston commenced the first bike-share program in Massachusetts.This program allows residents and visitors alike to easily rent bikes throughout the city, whether it’s just for a few hours or an entire day. Bicycling has always been a large part of Boston’s commuting culture and provides a healthy, sustainable and budget-friendly way to get around the city. The program, named the "New Balance Hubway System," was launched with 600 bicycles located at 61 stations throughout the City of Boston.

The program allows cyclists to rent bikes at a cost of $5 per day. Frequent riders also have the option to purchase an annual membership for $85. This makes it an affordable option for commuters, with other options like the LinkPass costing $85 per month. From the start, there was a lot of interest in the program. On the day that the program was launched, approximately 700 individuals had already signed up for an annual membership. The program also provides flexibility and ease to its users. Via the "swipe system," users can rent a bike at one station and return it at any other station in the city.

In response to the anticipated increase of bicyclists on the streets of Boston, the city is planning on stationing additional police officers at busy intersections throughout the area to issue tickets to those who violate the rules of the road. The city is also offering educational classes to interested individuals in order to promote bicycle safety. In addition, Boston's mayor Menino stated that the city has created an additional 38 miles of bike lanes and has also added hundreds of bicycle racks for the benefit of cyclists.

While the Hubway system is currently limited to the City of Boston, local officials plan to extend the program to other communities in the Commonwealth. Among the communities that may implement the system are Brookline, Cambridge and Somerville. These communities also have a strong commuting culture, with many residents riding their bikes to and from work, and could easily benefit from a program like “The New Balance Hubway System”.These plans may eventually result in the availability of as many as 5,000 bicycles in the bike-share program.

The program has received financial support from several different areas. The New Balance Hubway System has received $5.7 million in public funds. Of the $5.7 million, $3 million has come from the Federal Transit Administration. Additional funding, in the amount of $1.9 million, has been given by corporate sponsors over the next three years.

Due to the popularity of the program and number of people participating, along with the possibility to expand further, there are some inherent risks. Boston's Hubway bike-share system will undoubtedly lead to an increase in the number of cyclists sharing the road with automobiles. Unfortunately, this increase in the volume of cyclists on the road will likely also lead to an increase of bicycle accidents in the City of Boston. Whether it is a small accident or something more serious you may need an attorney at Altman & Altman to represent you.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a bike accident, please contact the law firm of Altman & Altman, LLP to schedule a Free Initial Consultation with one of our skillful Greater Boston bike accident lawyers. Our phones are answered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. In addition to being available around the clock, all emails sent to the law firm of Altman & Altman receive an immediate response.

Source: Boston Launches First Bike Share Program in Mass., The Associated Press (made available online by NECN), July 28, 2011.

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