Bike Helmets Can Now Be Rented

November 19, 2013

Boston has become the first bike-friendly city to install new helmet rental vending machines. The HelmetHub machine on the corner of Boylston Street and Massachusetts Avenue will complement the already installed Hubway program at that location.

The vending machines will allow users to rent a helmet before they use Hubway—the popular bike sharing service.

“I am thrilled to introduce another Boston biking first. This is the first bike share helmet vending machine in the country,” said Mayor Thomas Menino. “Our goal is to make Hubway a great and safe way to get around town, and HelmetHub is a step in the right direction for our growing cycling culture in the City of Boston.”

The HelmetHub machine is a street kiosk built right into the Hubway platform that allows for users to rent and return helmets at the same time that they rent Hubway bicycles. Returned helmets are removed from the machine and taken for inspection and sanitization.

HelmetHub won a contract with the city in May to design, test, and implement this kind of helmet rental system in Boston, which Hubway riders have been asking for since the sharing service began in Boston.

The first machine installed at the corner of Boylston and Mass Ave. will serve as a trial as the Hubway season winds down. HelmetHub will take lessons learned from the trial and implement it into a more wide-scale implementation next year.

HelmetHub’s team hopes to garner significant data during the rest of the 2013 season, and staff will be on-site at the machine to help answer questions and provide support to users.

Helmets will cost just $2 to rent if returned within 24 hours or $20 to buy. Improvements and expansions to the Hubway system also support the Mayor’s Greenovate Boston initiative, which encourages residents to help reduce the City’s greenhouse gas emissions by taking actions like biking, walking and using public transit.

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