In Boston, doctors with Boston Medical Center (BMC) can now prescribe low-income patients with a $5 membership to Hubway, the area’s bike share system.
“Prescribe-a-Bike” is a program devised by BMC and the mayor's office to offer more people access to local transportation that is also good for users' overall fitness levels.
If a doctor prescribes a bike share membership, the 'patient' pays just $5 for a Hubway membership that normally costs $85 annually.
Subsidized members will also get a free bicycle helmet. (Hubway is a bike share system that requires helmet use.)
Boston residents 16 and older and with an income of less than 400% above the official poverty level or receiving public housing assistance are eligible for the Prescribe-a-Bike program.
In New York, one of the reasons Citi Bike NYC enjoys popularity is that for some trips it can be cheaper than other forms of public transport, especially for people with an annual pass.
Hubway is a regional system that covers Boston and surrounding towns of Brookline, Cambridge, and Somerville with almost 10,000 members. The bike share system, which opened in 2011, has 1,100 bikes and shortly after it opens for the 2014 season this week, will consist of 140 stations.