Residents and employees working in the Newton area will have access to a bike share program starting in the spring, Newton Mayor Setti Warren announced
“I am pleased to announce that Newton is leading the way with the Metropolitan Area Planning Council in a regional effort to create a state-of-the-art
4th generation bike share system in the City of Newton as well as a number of our neighboring communities,” Warren told the Newton City Council
during his annual capital improvements address.
Under the program, users will be able to take a bicycle from one location and deposit that same bicycle in a different area of the city – such as at
an MBTA transportation node, village center or city park, Warren said.
Bike sharing has emerged as a key part of the nation’s transportation infrastructure by offering people the chance to ride a bike just for the times
they need it. There are currently more than 100 bike share programs in the US in cities ranging from Portland, Oregon to Worcester with an emerging
group of dockless systems, the first of which launched in Seattle earlier this year with 15,000 rides on the first week alone.
“In the last six months, the bike share industry has undergone a transformation with privately funded stationless systems aggressively entering the
market and competing with older publicly funded station-based systems. We are excited to explore this new efficient and cost-effective stationless
technology for the City of Newton as well as hybrid systems which combine the best of both types of programs,” Warren told the council
Warren said the city has interviewed nearly a half-dozen stationless system companies “including some offering pedal-assist technology and expect to
be able to move forward with a bike share system by next spring.”
“While it is essential to improve both bicycling and walking in Newton, we cannot forget that people drive through our city and traffic congestion
and safety remain an important concern,” the mayor added. “We have completed work on 10 of the 19 most critical intersections and are working through
our list to improve traffic flow and increase safe travel around Newton regardless of the mode of transportation chosen.”