Massachusetts residents and visitors will soon be able to take quick trips in Boston as they’ll be able to rent bicycles from dozens of sidewalk kiosks as early as July of this year. Mayor Thomas M. Menino is scheduled to sign a $6 million contract with a company called Alta Bicycle Share. The company is also behind a program in the Washington area that currently boasts more than 1,000 cherry-red bicycles at nearly 115 stations.
Our Boston bicycle accident lawyers understand that this $6 million dollar contract will put roughly 600 bikes and more than 61 stations in our communities before July. This increased pedestrian traffic may increase the risks of accidents on our roadways and we ask that everyone practice safe traveling on our roadways.
The new system, which officials will be referring to as the Hubway, will be starting off the program with roughly 60 bicycles. They envision the program to grow and to accommodate as many as 5,000 bikes in the future, operating from Brookline to Sommerville, according to Boston.com. With an increased number of bikes on Massachusetts roadways, drivers are encouraged to increase their awareness of bicyclists and pedestrians to help keep our roadways safe and reduce risks of potentially fatal Boston bicycle accidents.
Boston officials said the system will open in July with 600 bicycles and 61 stations in the city, though they envision growing in a few years to as many as 5,000 bikes at more than 300 kiosks, from Brookline to Somerville.
“The vision here is that it’s a seamless system,” said Eric Bourassa, transportation manager for the Metropolitan Area Planning Council. “I could pick up a bike in Cambridge and I could bike across the river and drop it off in Boston, and I wouldn’t tell the difference that I have a Cambridge bike vs. a Boston bike or anything like that,”
The program will not be funded by local tax dollars. Instead, the city is using grants and donations to cover the start-up costs. Corporate sponsorships and revenue from riders is planned to cover annual operating expenses after initial start-up.
Riders will need to first sign up for memberships, which will include a liability waiver and a pledge to wear a helmet, on kiosk touch screens similar to those of the MBTA. Memberships will range from about $5 a day to $85 a year. Trips less than 30 minutes will be of no charge and users will see incremental charges for longer rides.
If you have been injured in a bicycling accident in the Boston area, contact Massachusetts Car Accident Attorney Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call 1-877-617-5333.
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Feds pushing new rules that could reduce risk of backover pedestrian accidents in Boston, Boston Car Accident Attorney Blog, December 9, 2010