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More Hubway stations are coming to Boston. The city will start rolling out 15 new stations by the end of this month and plans to install more next year.
This season, Roxbury, Dorchester, Charlestown, Brighton and the Seaport District will each get two new stations. Jamaica Plain, South Boston, the South End and Fenway will each get one new station. A station will also be installed near North Station.
Some of the locations opening this month include Lawn on D in South Boston, Franklin Park Zoo in Roxbury, and Ryan Playground and the Savin Hill MBTA station in Dorchester. Specific locations for the rest of the stations opening this month are still being finalized, according to the Boston Transportation Department.
But while Hubway is growing, the bike-share system is still not available in all of the city's neighborhoods. Boston's Hubway stations are concentrated mostly in the northern part of the city downtown, while neighborhoods further south — Roslindale, West Roxbury, Mattapan, Hyde Park — have no Hubway presence. In Dorchester — the city's largest neighborhood — there are just a few Hubway stations concentrated on the northern part of the neighborhood.
Since Hubway launched in Boston in 2011 with 60 stations, about 30 more docks have been added. There are currently 91 Hubway stations in Boston.
With a recent online survey, the city solicited suggestions from the public for where to put 10 new stations next year. The survey took proposals for specific locations within six neighborhoods — Brighton, Charlestown, Dorchester, Jamaica Plain, Roxbury and South Boston — in order to focus "on options that are close enough to the existing network." The locations of another five stations opening next year will be determined by station sponsors.
The city is also considering expanding to a new neighborhood next year — East Boston.
"We are in dialogue with a number of entities in the East Boston community, including several potential sponsors," Boston Transportation Department Spokeswoman Tracey Ganiatsos said in an email. "A bike share system in East Boston would require approximately 7 stations to be functional as a successful system requires a variety of origin-destination combinations to meet people's transportation and recreation needs."
WBUR was originally told by the department that the city would be bringing Hubway to East Boston next spring and at least five stations would need to be placed there. “Next year in the spring, we will be bringing Hubway to East Boston and that’s an area that will be new for us,” Fiandaca previously said in a phone interview.
Since there is currently no Hubway access in East Boston, Fiandaca said the city would have to create a "meaningful network" of Hubway stations no more than a half mile apart.
"We want to put the Hubway stations where people want them and where they can expand our footprint in a logical way so that they are in close proximity to other Hubway stations — so we keep expanding the network," Fiandaca said.
For many bike advocates the expansion efforts have been a long time coming. They say they are happy to see Hubway expand, but want to see more.
"It's about time," said Phil Lindsay, a member of the bicycling group Dot Bike. "From day one there hasn’t been enough."
Lindsay said he'd like to see the bike-share system expanded further into neighborhoods like Dorchester, so Hubway becomes a viable option for the entire community.
"We don’t have them in most of Dorchester," he said. "So what good [is] renting one if you can’t go anywhere near your house?"
Shavel'le Olivier, a bike advocate in Mattapan, said she'd like to see Hubway come to her community too. She organizes bike rides in Mattapan and is a coordinator for the Mattapan Food and Fitness Coalition's Mattapan On Wheels program.
"Usually Mattapan is the last to get the resources that the Greater Boston has," Olivier said. "I think it’s kind of letting down the community of Mattapan because Mattapan wants these resources."
Olivier said the development of trails on the Neponset Greenway would make Hubway a great addition to the community and give residents another form of exercise.
Fiandaca said plans to expand Hubway are ongoing. And as for expanding the system into neighborhoods that currently have little or no Hubway presence, the city's Transportation Department said the bike-share system will grow incrementally.
"Our goal is to expand to all of the densely population neighborhoods and commercial centers of Boston," Transportation Department spokeswoman Tracey Ganiatsos said in an email.
Lindsay, the Dorchester resident, said he hopes the Hubway expansion plans also bring about bike infrastructure improvements.
"We need more infrastructure to show both where to ride and to tell cars that bikes have actual permission to ride on the roads," Lindsay said.
Biking infrastructure and safety has long been a topic of concern for bike advocates in the city. And the recent death of a cyclist in the Back Bay last month has renewed those discussions. Last week, the city implemented changes to the intersection where the cyclist was struck.
Longer term, the city has a 30-year bike network plan to install bike lanes throughout Boston. There is also the city's Vision Zero initiative to improve road design and safety, which officials call an ongoing effort.
This article was originally published on September 11, 2015.
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