By Daniel Lovering, November 13, 2013
BOSTON, Nov 13 (Reuters) - Boston Mayor Thomas Menino has unveiled a
vending machine that dispenses bicycle helmets for users of the city's
bike sharing service, a street kiosk he said was the first of its kind
in the country.
Menino said the so-called
HelmetHub machine, attached to one of the city's Hubway bike rental
stations at the intersection of Boylston Street and Massachusetts
Avenue, will allow users to rent and return helmets, adding a measure
of safety to the service.
"Our goal is to make Hubway a great and safe way to get around town," he said in a statement released on Tuesday evening.
machines were designed by HelmetHub, a company founded by MIT
engineering graduates that won a contract from the city in May, the
The company plans to test the
first machine and gather data during the remainder of the year before
introducing HelmetHub machines more widely in 2014.
machine dispenses helmets for a rental fee of $2, if they are returned
within 24 hours, or for purchase at $20. Returned helmets will be
removed from the machine to be inspected and sanitized, the statement
Boston's bike sharing service was launched
in July 2011, and users took its 600 bicycles on more than 100,000
rides in the first 10 weeks, according to the service's website. By the
end of November, it had more than 3,600 annual members.
service is similar in concept to other bike sharing programs launched
in Paris, London and New York City, which kicked off a massive bike
sharing program earlier this year.