Monday, July 30, 2012

Update:The Hubways are coming! The Hubways are coming!

(updated- I misread the statistic on increase of space as increase in employees- they probably track, but may not be linear- see below)

At long last, a year after the system opened in Boston,  the system is finally extending to Cambridge.
I took a minor detour on my way home to go down Mass Ave to check out two of the new stations!
Am looking forward to seeing where all the locations end up.  Hope there's one at my end of Harvard square- would be handy for combining with the T when I can't ride my bike for some reason.

The dock at the Kendall end of Central Sq:
The sign reads:  1 out of 10,000 Historians agree - If Napoleon had led his troops into Russia on bicycles, he would have won
And a double (back to back) dock at the Central Sq Post office:

I know they're installing one at the West side of Harvard Sq- can't wait to see where else they're going.

There's been a lot of buzz about them on twitter, but I haven't heard if they're going in on the Somerville side of things yet.  Do you have any sightings from your neighborhood?

I was thinking, it seems like a larger percentage of those interested in biking in Cambridge already have their own bikes.  We also don't get as many tourists as the downtown areas of Boston.  I'll be very interested to see if the demographics of people using the bikes are different on this side of the river.

I read an interesting article that the Kendall sq area has increased the number of employees  amount of commerical and office space by 40% in the last decade but automobile traffic has actually been reduced by 14%.  Cambridge has been really active in requiring businesses to have a traffic management plan which encourages active transportation and transit and limits new parking.  Hubway will be a great new addition to this kind of planning.

(Second update:  map of first phase of stations can be found here)


  1. exciting! trouble is - i don't think i can, in good faith, agree to their terms of service.

    Their membership states i must wear a helmet at all times when using their bicycles. Given that i'd be using their service as a sort of 'spur of the moment' thing and i don't carry a helmet at all times 'just in case' - i don't think i can use their bicycles


    I think i'll contact them to double check my reading of their agreement. Perhaps it is only that they would not be held liable if i don't wear a helmet...

    1. Mark,
      So that's an interesting point. There's actually a state law (a small provision in the most recent bike safety bill) that required that bicycle rental companies provide helmets for the use of customers. This would technically require Hubway to provide helmets, but obviously that's a big technical challenge, and they don't require them/ provide them anywhere else that they provide rental bikes.

      I think it's become a codified duplicity like "don't ask, don't tell" They'll "require" you to wear a helmet, and therefore they won't have to "provide" one. But since a large percentage of Hubway users don't actually use a helmet, and the law doesn't require you to wear a helmet, just for them to "provide" one, I don't think you should worry about it. I mean, you could stand on principle to make a point, but Alta/ Hubway aren't the helmet police- whoever drafted that little snippet of law is the one to blame.

  2. Hubway will sell you a helmet, but not loan one. Presumably this was vetted by lawyers when the contracts with the city were drafted. So, yes, it would seem that basically, if you ride without a helmet and have a head injury, they can claim no legal liability. Obviously, no one is going to actually stop you from from riding without a helmet.

    I've been seeing people riding the Hubway bikes into Cambridge and even Somerville from Boston, so I'd think they'd be getting some use on this side of the river.

  3. I just saw the Harvard Square installation -- right in front of Au Bon Pain on Mass Ave. Fun!

  4. This is very exciting! I can't wait to avail myself (finally) when I make my next visit home. HURRAY!