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Bike Sharing Services In Greater Boston Kicking Into Gear

By Anthony Silva, WBZ NewsRadio 1030 New England Business Editor
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Hubway (Photo courtesy: Hubway/Facebook)

Hubway (Photo courtesy: Hubway/Facebook)

420x316-grad-silva Anthony Silva
Anthony Silva is co-host of the WBZ Afternoon News heard each wee...
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BOSTON (CBS) – The city’s bike sharing network “Hubway” has launched for the season.

The self-supporting system has grown to 112 stations offering 1,100 bikes.

Hubway director Nicole Freedman tells me the system has become one of the most successful in the country.

“A big part of trying to figure out how to make it work was the business model,” she says. “The other part was making sure the technology could get to a point that was workable, safe and theft proof and vandal proof. I feel like it’s all come together.”

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Anthony Silva reports

Each Hubway station is self-contained, solar powered and mobile, with high quality bicycles.

“They are designed for hard, outdoor use,” Freedman adds, “and they were designed in Montreal so they can sustain a winter. The bike stations themselves were voted either the 18th or 19th invention for 2008 by Time magazine, right behind the Mars rover. We are dealing with some real high quality equipment.”

Freedman says the system has not experienced theft or vandalism problems.

Meanwhile, a bike sharing device designed for longer trips is expanding its Boston footprint.

Zagster has set up its newest racks at Discovery Park in Cambridge.

Zagster CEO Tim Ericson tells me his company partners with hotels, universities and resident developments to make bikes available.

“We’re in seven cities right now,” he says. “We don’t focus on geographical locations, we focus on where the partners are.”

Ericson says his service and Hubway can co-exist.

“Hubway is really a complementary service to Zagster. We focus on private property owners in locations where Hubway might not make sense. The typical users are guests at the Hyatt Regency in Cambridge, taking it out for an entire day, riding along the river, where Hubway would cost them more than $100 a day. The typical use of Hubway is more of a half hour trip. Ours are much longer. We’re focusing on the places where people live, work and visit.”

Zagster recently raised $1,000,000 in private investment to fund the company’s expansion.

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