Blue Bikes is Metro Boston's public bike share program, with more than 1,800 bikes at over 200 stations across Boston, Brookline, Cambridge and Somerville. Blue Bikes is owned by the municipalities of Boston, Brookline, Cambridge and Somerville, and operated by Motivate.
Boston's original bike share program, Hubway, launched in 2011 and quickly became an essential part of our transportation network as a fun, efficient and affordable way to get around. In 2018, Blue Cross Blue Shield became the title sponsor for the system and the name was changed to Blue Bikes.
Blue Bikes, like other bike share systems, consists of a fleet of specially designed, sturdy and durable bikes that are locked into a network of docking stations throughout the city. The bikes can be unlocked from one station and returned to any other station in the system, making them ideal for one-way trips. People use bike share to commute to work or school, run errands, get to appointments or social engagements, and more.
The History of Blue Bikes
The Boston Bikes program was founded, and the City of Boston decided to bring bike sharing to the Boston area. Since they knew that it had to span municipal boundaries, The Metropolitan Area Planning Council joined the effort, leading the open bidding process that led to the selection of an operator for a regional bike share program. Soon after, Brookline, Cambridge and Somerville joined Boston and committed to bringing this exciting new initiative to their communities as well.
In April of 2011, Boston signed a contract with Alta Bicycle Share to operate the Hubway system. Alta Bicycle Share has since been purchased by Motivate, who took over the contract in January 2015.
The Hubway system launched on July 28, 2011 with 600 bicycles and 60 stations throughout Boston. Far exceeding expectations, within 10 weeks Hubway bikes had logged more than 100,000 rides, and by the end of November had more than 3,600 annual members. A strong community of users formed during this first season that took an active part in the success of the system.
Hubway closed for its first winter, but membership continued to grow in anticipation of the return of the bikes in the spring. Brookline, Cambridge and Somerville each joined the system, and the four municipalities signed a collective regional agreement, and have worked together to create a unified regional system, making Hubway the first truly regional bike sharing system in the U.S.
In less than a month after the March relaunch, Hubway riders logged an additional 50,000 rides, proving that bike share was not a passing fad.
During the summer of 2012, Brookline, Cambridge and Somerville launched stations, and Boston further expanded its fleet of stations and bikes.
By the end of the 2012 riding season, 108 new stations and over 1,000 bikes were in service on both sides of the Charles, ensuring that Hubway had become an integral part of life in Metro Boston.
Hubway riders surpassed the 1,000,000 ride mark in July 2013.
By Thanksgiving 2013, Hubway riders had taken 1,500,000 rides. In mid-November, the City of Cambridge announced that it would participate in a pilot program to maintain Hubway operations year-round for the first time (which they have continued in subsequent winters).
By the end of the year, Hubway had nearly 10,000 annual members, and in 2013 alone had sold more than 79,000 Day Passes, 9,000 3-Day Passes, and 2,000 Monthly Memberships. Cambridge portion of the system remains open year-round.
Hubway adds an additional 10 stations - for a total of 140 stations and 1,300 shared bikes across Brookline, Boston, Cambridge and Somerville. Over 1.7 million miles logged by riders since the launch in 2011.
For the second year in a row, Cambridge announces that most stations will remain open throughout the winter. Other municipalities operate through the end of November. The entire system sees 1.1 million for the total year.
Hubway bikes & stations come out of hibernation on April 17.
Hubway installs 11 new stations in various neighborhoods and expands to new neighborhoods including Brighton and Roxbury.
Hubway expands to more neighborhoods in Boston and Cambridge. In Boston, stations are added to Dorchester and Roxbury, and 10 additional stations are added to East Boston, continuing to expand the service area to new neighborhoods. In Cambridge, 15 stations are added in various locations.
Hubway users take their 5 millionth ride!
Hubway experiences the most expansive winter riding season yet, keeping stations out through the end of November in Boston, Somerville and Brookline - with all stations remaining out in Cambridge.
Hubway announces a huge expansion of the network – with plans to fill in current service area as well as serve completely new neighborhoods like Mattapan, and increase station density in Roxbury, Dorchester and many more. The system has continued to expand to more than 185 stations with 1,800 shared bikes.
Blue Cross Blue Shield sponsors Metro Boston’s bike share system and the name was changed to Blue Bikes. With BCBS's support, people who visit, work in, or live in Boston, Cambridge, Somerville and Brookline can look forward to an even bigger and better bike share program.
About the Operator
Blue Bikes is operated by Motivate, the global leader in bike share. A full-service bike share operator and technology innovator, Motivate works to re-envision how people experience and move around cities.
Motivate currently manages all of the largest bike share systems in the United States and many of the largest systems in the world, including Citi Bike (New York and Jersey City), Ford GoBike (California Bay Area), Divvy (Chicago), CoGo Bike Share (Columbus, Ohio), Capital Bike Share (Washington, D.C., Arlington and Alexandria, Va., and Montgomery County, Md.), Blue Bikes (Boston, Somerville, Cambridge and Brookline, Mass.), and BIKETOWN (Portland, OR).