As interest in bicycling surges during the pandemic, the Boston Cyclists Union is launching a program to give more lower-income individuals access to the region's bikesharing network.
The BostonCyclistsUnion (BCU), with financial support from Boston's Wagner Foundation, will offer limited-income applicants annual Bluebikes passes for just $5 – a 95 percent discount from the typical price of an annual pass.
“The BostonCyclistUnion believes that everyone who wants to bike should be able to do so, but we also know the cost of owning a bike or buying a bike-share pass is a barrier for many people,” said Eliza Parad, interim executive director of the BCU, in a press announcement for the new program. “Through this partnership, we’re looking forward to providing increased access to bikes, particularly for those who can’t afford cars and want to try biking or increasing how often they bike during this public health crisis”.
Bluebikes already offers a discounted annual pass program for income-eligible participants, but at $50 a year, the cost may still be out of reach to many potential riders – especially at a time of widespread unemployment. BCU hopes that the new, deeply subsidized passes will increase transportation equity and give more people access to a mode of travel that's well-suited to physical distancing.