Find out the best ways to get around (and how to do so safely).
Bluebikes Bike Share System
Bluebikes is a public transportation system owned by the cities of Somerville, Boston, and Cambridge, and the town of Brookline. Bluebikes, formerly Hubway, is seamlessly integrated across the four municipalities, so travel within and between these communities is as easy as riding a bike. Bluebikes users have logged over 7 million trips since the system was launched in 2011, including 1.3 million in 2017. While Bluebikes is owned by the municipalities, Bluebikes bikes and stations are maintained constantly by Bluebikes’ operator, Motivate. Motivate has offices in Charlestown, and are able to respond to maintenance issues and customer service inquiries quickly and effectively.
Bike sharing is a healthy, green, and quick way to get around. Stations are located throughout Somerville, Boston, Cambridge, and Brookline, so it’s never too far to get to a station. You don’t need to worry about storing a bike at home, and is perfect for getting to and from transit, going on one-way trips, going on rides with friends who don’t have their own bike, and for everyday use.
How Do I Join?
Information about joining the network is available at www.bluebikes.com Curious about bike sharing but not ready to make a membership commitment? Single Trip or Explorer passes are the way to go. Click here for more information. First-time users can also get their first ride free.
Income Eligible Program
Somerville residents who participate in qualified public assistance programs, or who meet income guidelines (up to 400% of the federal poverty line) are welcomed to get a discounted Bluebikes membership. More information on this program can be found here.
Station Placement Considerations
More Benefits of Bike Sharing
As of October 2018, Somerville has 21 Bluebikes stations, spanning from Clarendon Hill to East Somerville and everywhere in between. In Somerville, we have increased the number of stations by 75% in 2018, with more to come in 2019! A live map of Bluebikes station in Somerville and beyond can be found here. If you have a suggested station location, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bluebikes bikes are easy, fun, and safe to use and ride. Seats can be adjusted to fit nearly anyone, and getting on the bike is easy with their step-through frames. Most bikes have “infinity” gear shifters, meaning you’ll have no trouble finding the comfortable gear to ride. All bikes are equipped with baskets, front and rear flashing LED lights, and fenders to keep you dry when the ground is wet.
Station Placement Considerations
Bike sharing stations are generally placed on public property, or on private property if we have an agreement with the land owner. Stations can come in numerous shapes and sizes, but in Somerville, stations are generally one continuous line of bikes, accessible from one side of the station. In this arrangement, stations require about 6 feet in width, which includes the area needed to store and dock/undock the bikes. Stations vary in width between 40 and 60 feet, depending on the size of the station. This means that, in general, stations typically take up the equivalent of two metered parking spaces.
We generally work with the Ward Alderman to determine ideal station placements. Off-street stations are preferred since they can be left out year-round and have little impact on parking.
If placed on the sidewalk, along a shared-use path, or in a plaza, stations are generally able to be kept open year-round, allowing service to continue through the winter months. Sidewalk-level stations are preferred wherever possible; however, we need to make sure we aren’t creating any issues for pedestrians and persons with disabilities. Generally, sidewalks need to be at least 12 feet wide, with no obstacles along the length of a station, in order to place a station on the sidewalk.
If placed on-street, we will consult with the Ward Alderman to ensure that the location has the least possible impacts on parking in the neighborhood. If the station affects the supply of on-street parking, generally stations need to get the approval of the Traffic Commission. Approvals for Bluebikes stations generally run from March through November, meaning stations revert back to usable parking spaces during the winter months.