Pedal Power: CNC and Hubway Reach Agreement

August 16, 2012
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When the power struggle between the Charlestown Neighborhood Council and Hubway became apparent, bike stations in Charlestown seemed like a far-fetched plan. But after residents circulated a 400-signature petition to bring Hubway to the neighborhood sooner rather than later, Council members followed suit and were finally able to make an agreement on the proposed locations.   Hubway’s parent company, Alta Bicycle, signed a lease on 28,750 square feet of space in a building at Sullivan Square. The space will allow Hubway employees to work comfortably as they store, repair and distribute bikes and bicycle stations. Two Hubway stations in Charlestown will soon be seen, with a third to be in place next spring. Hubway has been expanding rapidly in Boston, and it is about time they came to Charlestown. Most residents often complain of transportation issues in the community, whether it be problems with the MBTA or a lack of parking spots. Hubway will make the lives of Charlestown bikers easier, as well as provide an alternative transportation option for others. Hubway’s expansion into the neighborhood achieves the goal of facilitating an environmentally friendly, healthy, economical and fun way for locals to get around.

“The addition of the Hubway system in Boston has truly been a lifesaver! My husband and I have lived in Charlestown without a car for over a year now and it is only possible with the use of both Hubway and Zipcar. Hubway stations in Charlestown would enable me to use a bike more than a car for more errands,” resident Amanda Zettel signed on the petition which can be viewed at www.change.org.

The Charlestown Neighborhood Council doubted the proposed Hubway sites, claiming that they weren’t the perfect spots, and other locations should be looked at. The now agreed upon locations are at Main and Austin Street and Warren and Chelsea Street. “To work well, locations have to balance distance to other stations, proximity to high-traffic routes and destinations, ability of Hubway’s drivers to ‘balance’ bikes across stations daily, and revenue-generating potential from advertising. To get all that right, we respect the expertise that Hubway staff has developed over the past year in choosing locations, leading to the word l’s most successful roll-out of a bike share program,” read a piece of the growing petition that caught the Charlestown Neighborhood Council’s attention, leading to their immediate decision.

Hubway is Boston’s only bike sharing program in which users can unlock a bicycle when needed and then return it to any Hubway bike station when finished. The one-year-old program has been expanding all over the city, changing how people commute and live. To learn more about the program and its Charlestown expansion, visit thehubway.com.