Rent-a-Bike: Public bike sharing system coming to Boston

Filed in Featured, Headline, Lifestyle, Local News by on August 13, 2009 1 Comment

bixi bikesWould-be Bostonian bikers who want to cycle around the city but simply don’t own a bike may soon have their solution, as a public bicycle sharing program will soon be heading to Boston.

The Public Bike System Company, which runs the Bixi bike system in Montreal, is negotiating with Boston officials to bring around 2,500 bikes and about 290 stations into the city by next summer. If all goes well, the public bike system could expand to 5,000 public bikes available in the surrounding communities of Cambridge, Brookline and Somerville.

Here’s how the system works:

Riders get themselves to their nearest bicycle station and pay a fee to use the bike,  just like they would any other form of public transportation. Credit cards can be used to pay, and a bike is released. Riders then use the bike to get where they need to go, and drop the bike back off at another station near their destination.

Obviously a huge infrastructure will be needed to ensure drop-off stations aren’t far from peoples’ destinations, and it is probably safe to assume a credit/debit card isn’t optional, but necessary to avoid people stealing the bikes.

Boston’s local officials still need to push for more bike lanes in the city, and the Metropolitan Area Planning Council is still negotiating contracts for the service, but all-in-all it seems like a giant green step in the right direction for Boston.

Here’s an overview of the Bixi System already in use:

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  1. Balance Bike says:

    I LOVE this idea and I would use it if it came to my town. Most adults don’t own bikes. Especially, if they live in the city where carrying a bike up and down stairs would be a hassle. With this system they could rent the bike and get to their destinations without any problem. Its a very good green idea.
    .-= Balance Bike´s last blog ..Run Bike – Your Child Can Learn To Fly =-.

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