Monday, October 21, 2013

Subsidized Hubway membership: easy to get, easy to use

I signed up for a subsidized Hubway membership last week. It was surprisingly hassle-free; I just called the number, spoke to a very helpful associate, and was e-mailed a code to enter into the Hubway site that changed the yearly fee from $85 to $5. A free helmet arrived in the mail a few days later. The person on the phone didn’t need me to send in any verification that we receive low-income benefits, which was surprising. Also interesting to note: the subsidized memberships are free for up to an hour, whereas the full-price membership starts charging you after a 30-minute trip.

Using the bikes is pretty fun. There are stations at a number of the subway stops and at major intersections that aren’t served by the trains. It’s cheaper and more fun than taking the train if you’re just going a few stops, and it’s certainly faster than waiting for buses or walking to get to areas that aren’t near a train line.

The only downside is that there’s no way to take kids along with you. The bike is basically a standard cruiser setup, so I suppose one could attach a trailer or child seat if it’s the type that attaches only to the seatpost. A trailer/trail-behind might be easier because it could be locked to a bike rack once you get to your destination, whereas a child seat would have to be carried around. I couldn’t find anything saying attaching things to the Hubway bikes is prohibited, but I think I’ll wait and see if any of the car-free or cycling bloggers try it and report back before I give it a try. It would be really cool if Hubway eventually rolled out some bikes with child seats or trailers so users could carry small passengers. Tandems would be cool too for older kids or for adult reluctant cyclists, and would be a way to relax the rule that all riders must be at least 16.

1 comment:

  1. That's a really good idea. I wonder if any other bike sharing service has considered this. I'll poke around when I get a chance.