Bluebikes turn 10

Acting Mayor Kim Janey joined representatives from the other “core” original Bluebikes communities, including Brookline, Cambridge, and Somerville, to celebrate the bike-share program’s 10th anniversary on Monday, July 25, during a ceremony outside the Copley Square Branch of the Boston Public Library.

In her remarks, Janey described how the Bluebikes program (originally called Hubway), which she described as a “vital network for all of Boston, had started with just 600 bikes and expanded to currently comprise 4,000 bikes.

While Boston has distinguished itself as a city of champions in respect to its pro sports teams, among other achievements, said Janey, the city has also earned the dubious first in the nation for traffic and congestion. But the Bluebikes program is helping to reverse this trend, she added, as well as to address climate change in the city, especially during the pandemic when many commuters opted to bike instead of using the T.

To mark the milestone first decade of the Bluebikes program, Janey unveiled a special commemorative “unicorn” bike painted by youth from the nonprofit, Artists for Humanity, who were on hand for the occasion..

Kathy Klingler, the Chief Consumer Experience and Marketing Officer for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, the “title sponsor” for the bike-share program since 2018 (when it was renamed “Bluebikes”), said it started off serving four municipalities before expanding to 11 today. Bluebikes has served 12 million bicyclists since its inception, she added, who have ridden a total of 25 million miles while offsetting 13.5 pounds in CO2 emissions.

Bluebikes also set a single-day record of 15,335 trips on Saturday, July 24.

Somerville’s Mayor Joseph Curtatone, who extended his gratitude to Chris Osgood, now Mayor Janey’s Chief of Staff and formerly the city’s Chief of Streets, Transportation, and Sanitation, as well as Nicole Freedman, Boston’s one-time bike czar (both of whom were in attendance), evoked the words of former Boston Mayor Thomas Menino upon launching the bike-share system a decade ago when he said. “the car is no longer king in Boston”

As for the future of Bluebikes, Curtatone underscored the necessity of keeping the program publicly owned, as well as for replacing equipment before its lifespan expires and keeping the program affordable.

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