Boston’s Hubway bicycle-sharing system has racked up 250,000 rides in its first 6 months of operation, hitting a record 2,500 in a single day last Sunday.
The Boston Globe reports that 6-month rate is more than double that of earlier bike-share systems in Denver and Minneapolis, and about equal to Washington DC’s Capital Bikeshare.
At the same time, there hasn’t been a “serious accident” reported on a Hubway bicycle.
This should be great news for urban planners who are trying to convince their cities to adopt a bike-sharing system.
No one wants to install a costly system, only to have it languish. “Build it and they will ride” might be the slogan for well-run systems.
While New York City’s Citi Bike system is set to launch in the summer of 2012 with 10,000 bikes available at 600 stations, many smaller cities have recently signed deals for bike-sharing systems.
The Bike-Sharing Blog reports that Houston, Texas (which never appears on anyone’s bike-friendly list) has started a small pilot program with 18 bikes at 3 stations; Houston B-cycle will expand to 200 bikes by the end of the year. Also, Oklahoma City’s bike-share system — Spokies — launched in May with 95 bikes at six stations.
Boston’s Hubway isn’t a year-round system, because of the nasty winter weather.
It launched last July and shut down after November, restarting again in April. Starting with 610 bicycles in 61 stations, it’s set to expand to more than a thousand bikes in 110 stations this year.
I’m really looking forward to seeing some of the bike-share systems closer to home.