The gears are in motion for Northeastern University’s latest efforts to promote sustainable options for moving around campus and throughout the city.
Northeastern has partnered with the city of Boston as part of a bike-sharing program called Hubway, which allows users to rent bicycles and pedal between a series of newly installed stations throughout Boston’s neighborhoods.
The citywide program, launched last week, will feature 61 stations, including one at Northeastern’s North Parking Lot on Hemenway Street that holds up to 11 bicycles at a time. A second Hubway station, though not maintained by the University, is situated on Columbus Avenue between Renaissance Garage and International Village.
Tom Cote, Northeastern’s director of residence safety and security, worked closely with city officials to ensure University’s involvement in the program, which he called a “win-win situation” for Northeastern and its entire community.
“We were thrilled to get involved and be part of this program. It’s exciting for our students and the Northeastern community,” Cote said. The University has been working on the partnership for the last year, he said.
The Hubway website includes a bike station map, which includes how many bicycles are currently available at each location. In addition to annual memberships, riders can purchase a three-day or 24-hour membership — and any ride under 30 minutes is free.
Cote said the program builds upon the growing interest among students, faculty and staff for increased bicycling options around campus, and Northeastern’s participation in the program highlights the University’s commitment to sustainability by encouraging the use of many forms of alternative transportation.
There are currently 22 bike lock locations spread across campus, with space for a total of 633 bikes.
“Northeastern encourages bikes as alternative forms of transportation in the Institutional Master Plan, and bike usage is estimated in the State’s Transportation Survey that we complete biannually,” said Carol Rosskam, Northeastern’s Sustainability Program Manager. “By participating in this bike-share pilot and supporting the program, Northeastern is implementing some of the goals that are identified in the Master Plan.”
The program strongly encourages the use of helmets, and lists multiple retail locations on its website where users can purchase them. Bicycle use and safety are also integrated into on-campus sustainability events, and information and updates on bicycle events around Boston are also available on the Northeastern Off-Campus Student Services website.
There are plans to expand the program to Cambridge, Brookline and Somerville.