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Hubway
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jducoeur
How intriguing -- Hubway has apparently just opened several new stations, in Ball Square, Davis and Porter. Which, as it happens, are the places I spend most of my time in Somerville. (Kate lives near Ball; I do most of my shopping near Davis and Porter.)

Eventually I should get my own bike refurbished and working again, but for the time being this looks like it has great potential. Slightly limits *where* I go with these bikes, but if I'm going to the right places, I have an automatic bike rack, and coverage in Camberville is looking quite good. And while half an hour isn't enough time for a pleasure ride, it's enough to get most places I'm likely to go that are less than driving/T distances. A lot of places (eg, Harvard, MIT) are a long walk but a fairly modest bike ride. And as I suspected, there's an app for finding the nearest station.

Has anybody used Hubway? Any thoughts? I've been curious about it but not paying much attention since it was mostly Boston/Cambridge before. Now that it's hitting key parts of Somerville, it's actually looking potentially useful to me. I may try a one-day pass to kick the tires (as it were) and think about a real membership...

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I don't use it myself, but one of my coworkers commutes using it (within Boston) and loves it. And I have several friends use it more on weekends and love it. Not much of a data point, but it's something.

one of hte mosaic guys usesit and loves it

I used the service in Montreal. Same company. Granted I was a tourist and not a commuter... but I am sold. I think it is wonderful for exactly what you are talking about.

Last year they put the bikes away for the season in November so it's a bit late to plan to depend on it. (The site says "three seasons a year" but doesn't give the start and stop dates.) If you buy an annual membership it does run for 365 days from the day you buy it, not by calendar year.

Hubway is very much based on taking a ride and immediately parking the bike in the same or another station, so it's not so good for trips to places that don't have a station. Keeping the bike for more than 90 minutes gets VERY expensive. The one and three day passes are cheap enough ($5 and $12) to justify buying one before taking the annual plunge.

If you don't have a bike helmet, stores in Boston (and possibly the other Hubway cities) are selling VERY inexpensive ones ($7.99); they're subsidized by Hubway and the city. They're not high end helmets, but I did buy one (to have a spare to lend to friends) and it's a decent Bell helmet that will protect 90% of the population just as well as an expensive one. What more money buys you in a helmet is style, lighter weight, better ventilation, and fit for the outliers.

Oh, I have a helmet -- mind, I'm a lifelong biker. (In high school, when I was a heck of a lot more fit, I was averaging 15-20 miles a day.) And a helmet isn't optional for me: been there, done that, gotten the concussion when I was 16, have no desire to repeat the experience.

And it's unlikely I'd ever really be dependent on Hubway. Davis and Porter are reasonable walking-distance, and I intend to hold onto one car. This is just a plausible-looking alternative that gets me some exercise, when the weather is decent. I may well try it out today if things burn off...

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