You and I both know cycling is healthy. If more people took to the bicycle for transportation, we would have a healthier nation. Well now, doctors in Boston can write a prescription for cycling. An initiative by Mayor Marty Walsh and Boston Medical Center was unveiled on Wednesday which allows doctors to prescribe a membership to the city’s bike share program for just $5.
Prescribe-a-Bike is intended as a step in combating our society’s undeniable obesity epidemic. “Obesity is a significant and growing health concern for our city, particularly among low-income Boston residents,” said Kate Walsh, chief executive of Boston Medical Center, in the statement. “Regular exercise is key to combating this trend, and Prescribe-a-Bike is one important way our caregivers can help patients get the exercise they need to be healthy.”
For qualifying patients, the $5 membership will provide year long access to Hubway’s bikes at 130 locations across the city. In addition, participants will receive a free helmet (safety first!). This initiative will help to expand an already growing bike share system in Boston. Hubway reports 10,000 annual memberships (on top of nearly 90,000 24 and 72 hour subscriptions last year alone). The mayor’s office hopes that Prescribe-a-Bike will enroll at least 1,000 new members.
“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.”
With the new biking initiatives, successful bike share, and plans for miles of new bike lanes this year, Montague couldn’t be happier to call Boston our home.