The Metropolitan Area Planning Council announced today it had selected a vendor for a bike-sharing program that will allow Bostonians to borrow bikes for short trips around the city as soon as next summer, officials said.
A Bixi bike in Montreal
A Canadian company, the Public Bike System Company, was selected to bring a network of bike-sharing stations to Boston, and plans to expand the system into Cambridge, Somerville, and Brookline shortly afterward. Each city still has to finalize contracts with the company before the program can begin, said Amanda Linehan, a MAPC spokeswoman.
“This will make it easier for people to use bikes to do errands, to attend meetings during work hours, and to visit friends,” Marc Draisen, executive director of MAPC, said in a statement. “It will take cars off the road and improve our air quality. The Public Bike System Company already runs a great system in Montreal, and we’re pleased to provide the municipalities the opportunity to enter into a contract with them.”
The Public Bike System Company operates a bike-sharing program, called Bixi, in Montreal. Bikes are stored at stations across the city, and riders scan a credit card to access a bike.
David Watson, executive director of the Massachusetts Bicycle Coalition, a statewide advocacy group based in Boston, said the bike-sharing program has the potential to give people a choice over driving or public transportation when it comes to short trips within the city.
"It creates a great opportunity for people who don't identify themselves as bicyclists, and who don't ride in the city, to shift some of their shorter trips from driving to biking," he said.
Watson said he had not used the Bixi program in Montreal, but said he had heard good things about the program, calling it easy to use.
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