Mayor Walsh and the Boston Medical Center want Bostonians to get on their bikes and ride. A new initiative announced Wednesday allows BMC doctors to prescribe bicycle sharing memberships for just five dollars.
The program, dubbed “Prescribe-a-Bike”, hopes to tackle the obesity epidemic and afford residents greater access to transportation by lowering the monetary barrier to the city’s Hubway bike sharing program, according to a statement.
“There is no other program like this in the country,” Walsh said in a statement. “Prescribe-a-Bike makes the link between health and transportation, and ensures that more residents can access the Hubway bike share system.”
The initiative builds on an existing subsidy that successfully enrolled 897 members who took a combined 35,000 trips, according to the statement.
The Globe recently reported that even among young children — a group whose obesity rate is dropping — lack of income presents a challenge.
The mayor’s office hopes to enroll 1,000 members in Prescribe-a-Bike. To qualify, participants must be at least 16-years-old and receiving public assistance or have household income totaling no more than 400% of the poverty level.
Members will receive a helmet and unlimited trips with the caveat that their trips remain under 30 minutes. A typical annual membership costs $85 with additional fees for any trips taking longer than 30 minutes.