|BIDMC team at opening day of New Balance Hubway|
I just returned from an opening ceremony for Boston's bike share program, entitled New Balance Hubway. This is a citywide installation or bikes for hire. You pick up a bicycle at one set of racks, ride to your location, and leave it any another. The bike locations are also closely coordinated with the local transit system, to provide a mutual feeder system.
The program is the brainchild of Nicole Freedman, Mayor Thomas Menino's biking tsarina. With the Mayor's encouragement and support, Nicole had already succeeded in expanding the number of bicycle lanes on city street and installing dozens of bike racks in public spaces.
But they had bigger plans.
A couple of years ago, Nicole came to me in my capacity as CEO of BIDMC and asked if we would sponsor a couple of the stands for Hubway, at a cost of $100,000 each. Our hospital and staff already had volunteered to help other biking programs that Nicole had organized, like being medical providers for Hub on Wheels, and so I had great confidence in her vision and ability. I immediately committed to the effort and promised to solicit other hospital CEOs to do the same. Today, many of those hospitals were announced as partners, along with the Boston Red Sox, housing developer Steve Samuels, and others. Later, my successor at BIDMC, Eric Buehrens, committed to a third station as well.