Less than two years ago, there was only one bike-share program in the Boston area, and that was Bluebikes. Since then, thousands of station bikes and dockless e-bikes have made a home here. And not too long ago, the city allowed Lime and Bird to roll out a handful of their e-scooters on a trial basis. As the law stands currently, electric scooters are illegal in Boston. So, this is an important trial period for Bird and Lime. Having Lime and Bird scooter in Boston permanently would increase the number of micro-mobility options for residents. And it could improve the way people get around.

 

Bird and Lime scooters

Over the course of April 2019, two micro-mobility companies, Bird and Lime, brought their e-scooters to Brookline. This area is part of Greater Boston. Each company placed 100 e-scooters in Brookline on a trial basis which will last to November 2019.

Before this experiment, no other e-scooters were present in the state of Massachusetts. So, if the trial period goes well, it’s likely more scooters will come to other Boston municipalities. And in this case, the commuting habits among those living within and around Greater Boston will change.

Rules and rates

  • Riders must be at least 18 years old to rent and ride the e-scooter
  • To unlock and pay to ride the scooters, you must download the Lime and Bird apps
  • To rent a scooter, both companies charge a $1 fee to unlock the e-scooter and then $0.15 per minute of riding time
  • The e-scooters can go up to 15 miles per hour and should only operate between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m
  • Once you have completed your ride, park the e-scooter on a sidewalk, preferably near a bike rack The key consideration is to park it in an area that won’t block pedestrian access
  • During the Bird and Lime trial period, all e-scooters must remain within the Brookline city limits. If for any reason, the vehicle leaves Brookline, the scooter will lock up until it’s returned

Blueground offers fully-furnished, equipped and serviced apartments in some of the world's most sought after cities. Many residents and the Transportation Officials of Boston hope the Lime and Bird trial is a success. Because bird scooter in Boston would offer a reliable and sustainable transportation option for the Greater Boston Area.

 

Bluebikes

Since 2011, the public bike-share company, Bluebikes, has supplied pedal bikes to riders in Metro Boston. Since that time, the company grew and expanded to other areas within Boston. Now, Bluebikes has more than 2,500 bicycles located at 260 stations in the areas of Boston, Cambridge, Brookline, and Somerville. Besides the ease of accessibility to Bluebikes, these neighborhoods are also close to major attractions, restaurants, shops, recreational activities, and cultural events.

How it works

  • To become a member, you can sign up online
  • You can also buy single access passes online or through the Bluebikes app
  • You can locate a station near you from the app
  • When you arrive at the station, you can unlock a bike using the station’s kiosk or with the app
  • You can ride the bike where you want as long as you return it to a Bluebikes station
  • Return the bike to any nearby station that has available openings, and wait for the green light to come on. The light means the bike successfully locked in place

bird scooter in Boston bluebikes side by side while locked in place at bike station

Bluebikes pricing

  • For a single ride, the cost is $2.50
  • When you want to go on long-distance rides, consider buying the adventure pass for $10. With this pass, you can take as many 2-hour rides as you wish within a 24-hour timeframe
  • If you are living in Boston and plan to ride often, then the annual membership could be a great fit. You can pay $99 upfront or $10/month if you commit to a one-year membership

The company recently announced its plans to add nine stations and new bikes to the community of Everett. And the expansion doesn’t stop there. Bluebikes wants to have 3,000 bikes at 300 stations in the Boston area by December 2019. With the large accessibility of Bluebikes, it’s not only a convenient and affordable way to move around town, but it’s also quite fun.

 

Lime bikes

Lime bikes are dockless bike-shares found in 15 cities in the Greater Boston area. These towns include; Arlington, Everett, Malden, Watertown, Bedford, Chelsea, Lexington, Melrose, and several others. Lime recently decided to phase out their pedal bikes to make room for their e-bikes. So, eventually, they’ll have approximately 1,500 e-bikes and zero pedal bikes in these regions.

How it works

  • To arrange your trip, download their app to locate a nearby bike
  • Use the app to unlock the bike and take it for a spin
  • When you have completed your trip, park the bike in a safe and accessible area and lock the back wheel
  • From the app, you can see a summary of your recent trip, the distance you covered, the time spent riding and the cost

 

Ant Bicycle

bird scooter in Boston woman using an app on cellphone to unlock a dockless shared bike

Since 2018, Ant Bicycle has offered e-assist dockless bikes to people in the Cambridge, Massachusetts area. Currently, they have about 1,000 bikes in this region. Like other micro-mobility companies, you need to download the Ant Bicycle app to locate and ride their bikes. When you unlock your bike, you can travel up to 15 miles per hour using the assist feature.

Rules and rates

  • To ride an Ant Bicycle you must be 18 years or older. A license to ride is not required
  • It’s preferred that you ride in a bike lane or on a non-crowded sidewalk
  • You must bring a helmet with you and wear it throughout the duration of your ride
  • When it’s time to park the bike, find an area that won’t block pedestrian access
  • To help you find a spot to park the bike, the app has a feature called “parking mode,” that recommends places to return or drop off the bike
  • A monthly membership costs $19.99/month and a yearly membership costs $99.99

 

Orienting living in Boston around micro-mobility

Boston is one of the rare cities in the United States where urban core residents truly can get around without a car. Living in Boston literally orbits around the downtown core and transportation links follow in a similar form. Between a mix of shared transport including the T, carshares and ridesharing services, Bostonians are privileged to have a number of transportation options at their fingertips. The numbers from the 2014 census show that amongst workers in Boston, 33% took public transportation, 1.7% came and went daily by bike, and another 15.1% used their very own two feet!

The wide range of shared vehicles at hand is as diverse a subscription plan (from pay per use to monthly passes). When it comes to newly arrived residents in Boston, these methods of transport are ideal when avoiding a large initial investment in a car or a bicycle.

Likewise, through Blueground, tenants are afforded optimal flexibility and minimized initial sunk costs by renting furnished for a month, a year or longer. Tenants get to live in a safe and lively area while enjoying the comforts of a fully furnished and thoughtfully equipped apartment. Furniture, appliances, eyecatching decor and sought-after building amenities are just the beginning. Let’s not forget that all of the apartments are located close to local transportation hubs should you choose to take the T, the bus or an e-scooter!

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