Hubway Had An Amazing Year, Plans On Expanding Again Next Year

Written by Boston Biker on Dec 03

The Hubway bike sharing system had a record breaking year, and is going to continue its steady expansion next year. With trips over 50% higher than expected, year round operation and steady expansion are in the works for 2013.

Hubway recorded 533,755 rides before shutting down for the season Wednesday night, pushing the cumulative total to 676,044 since its July 2011 launch, roughly 50 percent better than planners had hoped.

Now, officials are envisioning a future with Hubway running year-round and fanning out across all Boston neighborhoods and many surrounding communities, beyond the current 105 stations — 72 in Boston, 22 in Cambridge, eight in Somerville, and three in Brookline — and 1,003 bicycles.

“Everybody’s been calling,” said Jessica Robertson, transportation coordinator for the Metropolitan Area Planning Council, which helped Boston launch Hubway and expand across municipal borders for its second season. Cities as far off as Pittsfield and Portland, Maine, have inquired about starting satellites, while local communities, starting with Newton, want to tie into the existing map.

A typical station with bikes costs about $50,000 and requires $10,000 in annual subsidies, though operations are expected to be covered fully by user fees and advertising as Hubway matures. Those costs make expansion contingent on grants, private sponsorship, and local taxes, and the outward march is incremental — far-flung stations do not succeed in a system designed for short trips and rapid transit.

But a winterized Hubway could happen by December 2013. Current contracts and permits call for a nearly four-month closure, but the two-thirds of Hubway stations located on plazas and sidewalks could remain in place without posing an obstacle for street plowing.(via)

More information about the first Hubway rider to reach 1000 miles here. Kid is pretty nice.

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Posted in Commuting, infrastructure | 9 Comments »

9 Responses to “Hubway Had An Amazing Year, Plans On Expanding Again Next Year”

  1. By dgdfgge on Dec 3, 2012 | Reply

    ” 22 in Cambridge, eight in Somerville, and three in Brookline”

    …and barely one or two outside the touristy/college areas of Boston. Roxybury? One. Dorchester? None. JP? None. West Roxbury? None.

  2. By mtalinm on Dec 3, 2012 | Reply

    some peopel are never happE

  3. By john on Dec 3, 2012 | Reply

    There are 2 in Roxbury and 3 in Dorchester.

  4. By JJJ on Dec 4, 2012 | Reply

    Some actual expansion numbers would be nice, not just “it may or may not happen”. They didnt hit their promised 2012 station numbers for example, and only sent out station 105 a week before starting to close up!

    The busiest day numbers show that closing in mid november is very dumb.

  5. By Erik on Dec 4, 2012 | Reply

    Interesting. If we amortize the station cost over 5 years, we get about $20,000/year/station in capital and operating costs. With 100 stations, that $2M. There were 500,000 trips, which puts to cost per trip at $4. Not bad! And when you use the annual membership income of about $700,000 to offset that cost, the subsidy drops to no more than about $2.25/trip.

    While a subsidy of $2+ per trip seems like a lot, it’s par for the course for many MBTA bus routes. It looks like at least 20% of routes in Cambridge have a net cost of more than $2 per trip. ( source:

  6. By mouth breather on Dec 5, 2012 | Reply

    anyone else catch another recent globe article that said the overall bike mode share in the city increased something like 35% just in the past 2 years?

  7. By Fenway on Dec 5, 2012 | Reply

    “While a subsidy of $2+ per trip seems like a lot”

    With the growth of the system driving some costs down with economy of scale and the attractiveness of advertising on Hubway raising revenue, the loss may turn into a surplus. Likely not a cash cow, but perhaps revenue neutral.

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