City Offers Free Bluebikes Ahead of MBTA Orange Line Shutdown
Today Mayor Michelle Wu and Chief of Streets Jascha Franklin-Hodge announced increased access to the City’s public bike share, Bluebikes, by offering free 30-day passes during the upcoming MBTA Orange Line shutdown. These bike share passes will be available to anyone, and provide an unlimited number of 45-minute trips at no cost. Bluebikes staff will be present at key Bluebikes stations in Boston to provide guaranteed access to bikes and Bluebikes parking. Passes will be available at bluebikes.com/join or in the Bluebikes mobile app.
The MBTA announced last week that the Orange Line will close for a month beginning August 19 through September 19 for repair work. Since that announcement, City of Boston officials have been meeting daily with MBTA and State officials to support immediate planning of alternate travel methods for commuters.
“Expanding access to bicycles is just one way the City is working to provide alternate routes of travel during this unprecedented shutdown,” said Mayor Michelle Wu. “Our City departments are meeting daily with the MBTA to adjust shuttle routes, set bus priority lanes, and create multilingual signage. As an Orange Line commuter, I will continue riding the MBTA to see firsthand how these alternate routes are working for our residents.”
"Biking can be a great alternative for some people during the shutdown," said Jascha Franklin-Hodge, Chief of Streets. "Opening up and enhancing Bluebikes service is just one of the ways we're helping residents access good alternatives to their normal transit routes."
Bluebikes is a bikeshare program, jointly owned and managed by the Cities of Boston, Cambridge, Everett, Salem and Somerville and the Town of Brookline. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts is the system’s title sponsor. Riders can find 400 stations and 4,000 bikes across 11 municipalities in Metro Boston. More on how to find a bike and the bike share’s origins in Boston can be found here.
To ensure rider safety, the City of Boston will implement “pop-up” bike lanes separated from vehicle traffic by barrels. Riders will find these lanes on Columbus Avenue and Stuart Street between Clarendon Street and Church Street and on Boylston Street in the Back Bay from Dartmouth Street to Arlington Street.
Encouraging biking is one of the many ways the City of Boston is preparing for the August 19 shutdown. The City of Boston is taking a cross-departmental approach while working closely with the MBTA, regional partners, and commuters to support immediate planning and ongoing monitoring of alternative shuttle routes and diversions.
In addition to bike lanes, Boston Transportation Department officials are planning bus priority lanes in key areas. The City is also working on pop-up transit mobility hubs at Government Center and Copley Square. These locations will have extensive dedicated curb space and clear signage to help commuters navigate transfers to the Green Line, bus connections, and access to Bluebikes.
The City is committed to transparency during the shutdown. Updates and more information on the City’s ongoing response to the Orange Line shutdown, including information on taking the Commuter Rail, can be found here.
The City of Boston offers many resources to residents interested in riding bikes, including videos about using Bluebikes. These resources can be found at boston.gov/boston-by-bike. Learn-to-bike classes for women and gender diverse adults are also available through mid-October. A schedule can be found at boston.gov/women-bike.
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- Published by: Transportation