I believe in exercise and staying fit. I even believe in conservation, but how in the H E double L can you ride a bike in the middle winter in the city of Boston?
Already clogged Hub streets are about to be jammed with more cyclists as the city’s popular Hubway pay-per-ride bike system is set to add more than 400 bicycles, including hundreds at 30 new stations in Cambridge, Somerville and Brookline.
“That was always the goal, to be a regional system,” said Kris Carter, director of Boston Bikes, which oversees the Hubway. “The T goes across into other towns and communities, so Hubway should, too.”
Hubway, which currently has 61 kiosks with more than 600 bikes across the city, will add 11 more stations in Boston during the next couple weeks, including locations in Charlestown and Dorchester. Another 300-plus bikes will be lined up at new stations being added in Cambridge, Somerville and Brookline, bringing the total number of public bikes in Greater Boston to more than 1,000.
“We’ll be right around 100 stations total later this summer,” Carter said. He added that plans are already in the works to expand to Newton, Arlington and other bordering communities.
News of the expansion comes on the one-year anniversary of the network, which was launched with much fanfare last July by Mayor Thomas M. Menino.
“Hubway has been an amazing success for our city as we have become one of the most bike-friendly places in the country,” Menino said. “I wish Hubway many more years of getting Boston residents and visitors more active.”
The program has not been without controversy, however, as Hubway doesn’t require riders to wear helmets. Hubway members, though, are given the option of buying a helmet for $18 through its website.
There have also been complaints from motorists who said the city is going too far in its bike-friendly pursuit. Menino has seized more than 100 parking spaces over the past year — including 71 on parking-starved Massachusetts Avenue — to make way for tens of miles of bike lanes.
Carter said more than 360,000 individual bike trips have been taken through the Hubway system in the past year. This summer, the program has exploded as tourists and commuters take about 2,000 trips per day.
“It’s really taken off,” Carter said. “(The mayor) has said the car is no longer king and he’s certainly right.”