Hubway is entering into a six-year partnership with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts that will involve adding 1,200 new bikes and rechristening the bicycles as Blue Bikes.
The bike share program, owned by the cities of Somerville, Cambridge, Boston, and Brookline, will see over 100 new stations thanks to the partnership, according to a press release. The partnership will also allow for system upgrades, more valet service, and new features in the Hubway app.
The project operators expect that the new stations and the 1,200 new bikes—bringing the total up to 3,000—will be added by the end of 2019, the release says.
The health insurer will invest $18 million in Blue Bikes over the six years, according to Blue Cross Blue Shield spokesperson Amy McHugh. It will be the title sponsor, and the name will switch from Hubway to Blue Bikes this spring when the partnership begins.
“We’re delighted to partner with Boston, Cambridge, Brookline and Somerville on the Blue Bikes initiative,” Andrew Dreyfus, president and CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, said in a statement. “Not only are we helping to expand bike share access to communities that have long been asking for the program, we’re also living up to our company’s commitment to healthy living and to environmental sustainability. Through this program, we hope to serve as a catalyst empowering our fellow citizens to live healthy, active lives.”
“Riding a bicycle is not only one of most cost-effective ways to get around an urban environment like Somerville, it also promotes one of our community’s core goals: healthy living,” Mayor Joseph Curtatone said in a statement. “We’re proud and thankful that this partnership with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts will allow us to more than double the number of bike share stations here over the next two years and give more residents a better opportunity to travel throughout Somerville—and beyond—by bike.”
The partnership is the latest in a series of expansions for the bike share program. This is the first winter that Hubway bikes were available, and the program recently announced a discounted membership for EBT cardholders where lower-income residents can have access to the bikes for $5 a month or $50 a year.