By John Lynds
After a series of community meetings and workshops over the summer, nine new Hubway docking stations were deployed in East Boston over the past two weeks with a tenth docking station’s location still yet to be determined.
The nine new Hubway Stations came after the city announcements in June that the popular Metro-Boston bike share program would expand to Eastie. There were a series of discussions and surveys–including a public workshop and open house at the East Boston Public Library that were held for community members. These workshops were designed for those who live and/or work in Eastie to provide feedback and suggestions for station locations.
Boston Transportation’s Kim Foltz explained the the stations vary in length and hold a minimum of 15 bikes. The docking stations in Eastie were either be placed on the street or on sidewalks if the width allows the city to do so without impeding pedestrian traffic.
With several streets in Eastie having wider sidewalks than other areas of the neighborhood, Foltz said there are advantages to the off-street docking stations because they are able to be used longer during the year.
“Our off-street docking stations can be placed and remain open all year except for basically January and February while our on street stations have to be pulled up in November and not put back until spring,” said Foltz.
Foltz said that the goal in Eastie was to have the docking stations be a five to ten minute walk from each other.
“This is an alternative mode of transportation,” explained Foltz. “This is not a bike riding for pleasure program and we look at it as a way to fill in the transportation gaps and needs in the community.”
For example, while the MBTA Blue Line runs down the center of Eastie, there are transportation gaps to get from the neighborhood’s MBTA stations to points in Jeffries Point, Eagle Hill or Orient Heights Hill.
“So let’s say you get off the MBTA at Airport Station or Maverick Station and you need to run errands in Central Square, that might be a transportation gap that Hubway can fill because you’d be able to pick up a bike near the T, ride to Central Square, dock the bike and then do your shopping,” she said.
Foltz said placing the docking stations in and around commercial areas tends to help the local economy.
“What we find is that members of the program tend to shop and spend money near were the docking stations are located,” said Foltz.
All the stations in Eastie went live and were fully open for riding the day they were installed.
“Bringing Hubway to East Boston is a major milestone for the program,” said Boston Transportation Commissioner Gina Fiandaca. “With these new stations, East Boston residents and visitors will have an active, fun way to get around the neighborhood.”
Here are the final station sites along with the deployment schedule (subject to change):
Chelsea Street at Saratoga Street (15 docks)
Bennington Street at Byron Street (15 docks)
Orient Heights T Stop – Bennington Street at Saratoga Street (19 docks)
The Eddy at New Street (7 docks – this station is expected to be expanded to 15 docks later this season)
Airport T Stop – Bremen Street at Brooks Street (15 docks)
Maverick Square – Lewis Mall (33 docks)
East Boston Neighborhood Health Center – 20 Maverick Square (16 docks)
Piers Park – Marginal Street at East Boston Shipyard (19 docks)
Condor Street at Glendon Street (19 docks)
One of the nine new Hubway Docking Stations in East Boston. This docking station is outside the Orient Heights MBTA station on Bennington Street.