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UPDATED Dec. 26: The Greater Boston Bluebikes program says that it plans to integrate some 750 e-bikes into its fleet in 2024.

The cities of Boston, Cambridge, Somerville and Everett; the town of Brookline; Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts (“Blue Cross”); and Lyft earlier this month announced plans to integrate these next-generation e-bikes into greater Boston’s popular Bluebikes program and the renewal of Blue Cross’ title sponsorship through May 2031.

The rollout is scheduled to begin with 50 e-bikes available the last week of December; an additional 700 will join the fleet in subsequent months, a news release said.

"The ebikes were deployed in Boston and Cambridge and then migrated throughout the system, so they have reached each of the municipalities by now, including Arlington. As more of them are rolled out heading into the new year, more will be available for use in Arlington," said spokesman Aidan MacAdam"They are mixed in with regular Bluebikes and will be available at any standard Bluebikes station in Arlington."

The new, seven-year agreement between Blue Cross and the municipal owners further cements a dynamic public-private partnership for sustainable urban transportation, the release said. Blue Cross will continue its commitment to promoting the overall health and well-being of Massachusetts residents by supporting the municipal owners of Bluebikes in driving system growth and accessibility through initiatives including station expansions, system enhancements and the integration of e-bikes.

“Today marks an exciting milestone as we usher in the next wave of transportation in greater Boston with the introduction of state-of-the-art e-bikes,” Boston Mayor Michelle Wu said. “Partnerships such as our Bluebikes alliance with Blue Cross are crucial in ensuring our residents have access to healthier, more sustainable and affordable transportation options. We look forward to continued collaboration with Blue Cross and all our municipal partners as we elevate our bike share system.”

E-bikes: different rules of the road

Unlike traditional pedal bikes, e-bikes aren’t permitted on sidewalks; however, they can be used on shared paths and bike lanes. Riders must follow all traffic laws and regulations and must bike in the direction of traffic except on specially marked streets. Riders by law must always yield to pedestrians, maintain a safe speed and remain aware of all street users of all abilities.

Lyft’s e-bike was named one of Time magazine’s 100 Best Inventions of 2022. It features a long-lasting battery with a 60-mile range, a user-friendly interface LCD screen, a smoother ride and numerous upgrades. Massachusetts legalized Class 1 e-bikes, which have no throttle and can travel at a maximum speed of 20 mph, as part of the transportation bond bill last year.

“Bluebikes is getting our newest e-bike, which has cutting-edge features that riders love,” said Caroline Samponaro, vice president of public policy with Lyft. “These e-bikes make it easier than ever for people to reach jobs, family and friends with sustainable, climate-friendly transportation that gets cars off our roads. I want to thank Mayor Wu, all the Bluebikes municipal owners and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts for their continued investment and partnership in Bluebikes. Without them, Bluebikes wouldn’t be the tremendous success it is today.”

“Bluebikes have become an integral part of so many communities in and around Boston, and we are thrilled to continue supporting the system,” said Blue Cross President/CEO Sarah Iselin. “We’re looking forward to the next chapter of partnership with the cities and towns through the renewal of our Bluebikes sponsorship. Biking is truly one of the best ways to get around, benefiting the environment as well as our mental and physical health. And adding e-bikes to the Bluebikes system is an important step toward making biking more accessible to more people.”

Bluebikes fleet expands

The new collection of e-bikes is expected to grow the overall Bluebikes fleet to 5,000 bikes across 500 stations by next summer. Funding for the initial purchase of the e-bikes came from a combination of municipal investment from Boston and Cambridge, state funding, federal funding by the Boston Area Metropolitan Planning Organization and support from Blue Cross’s sponsorship of the bikeshare system. Together, Boston, Cambridge, Somerville and Blue Cross will provide support for affordable user costs of e-bikes for Bluebikes members.

The state’s largest health plan became Bluebikes’ title sponsor in 2018. Since the inception of the Bluebikes partnership, the municipal owners – in conjunction with Blue Cross – have made investments, received grants and fostered station sponsorships to accomplish system milestones, including:

  • Expanding the system from four to 13 municipalities, representing a 225 percent increase;
  • Supporting a 333-percent growth in the number of available Bluebikes and a 150 percent expansion in the number of Bluebikes stations;
  • Bolstering the income-eligible program; and
  • Surpassing 22 million rides taken.

The municipal owners have prioritized access and affordability for the new Bluebikes e-bikes, which will be available at $0.10 per minute for Bluebikes members, $0.25 per minute for Adventure Pass holders and $0.07 per minute for low-income residents enrolled in Bluebikes’ Income-Eligible Program. Income-eligible riders are provided a reduced annual fee for Bluebikes. (Earlier this year, Boston also announced the Boston Bikes Pass -- a Bluebikes membership offered only to City of Boston residents at a reduced annual rate of $60. Those interested may learn more about discounted Bluebikes rates at https://www.boston.gov/departments/boston-bikes/discounted-bluebikes.)

About Bluebikes

Bluebikes is public transportation by bike. The system is municipally owned by 13 cities and towns in eastern Massachusetts, jointly managed by the cities of Boston, Cambridge, Everett and Somerville and the Town of Brookline, and operated under contract by Lyft. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts is the system’s title sponsor. Riders can find approximately 475 stations and 4,000 bikes across Arlington, Boston, Brookline, Cambridge, Chelsea, Everett, Medford, Malden, Newton, Revere, Salem, Somerville and Watertown. For more information about Bluebikes, visit bluebikes.com.

About Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts (bluecrossma.org) states that it is a “community-focused, tax-paying, not-for-profit health plan headquartered in Boston, committed to the relentless pursuit of quality, equitable and affordable health care.” Those interested in learning more can do so on the organization's social-media presences on FacebookTwitter and YouTube.


Oct. 7, 2023: Riding Bluebikes was free Oct. 10 in honor of World Mental Health Day 


This news announcement was published Sunday, Dec. 24, 2023, based on information from a news release by Aidan MacAdam, who provides information about Bluebikes from the public-relations firm Elevate, and updated Dec. 26, 2023, with confirmation that e-bikes are now available in Arlington. YourArlington volunteer Kim Haase prepared it for publication.