Amid Economic Toll of COVID-19, Boston Cyclists Union and Wagner Foundation Launch Subsidized Bluebikes pass program


Jon Terbush, Communications Director, Boston Cyclists Union, 860.466.0910

BOSTON, Mass. (May 27, 2020) — As the economic fallout from the coronavirus continues to unfold, the Boston Cyclists Union (BCU) and Wagner Foundation have partnered with Bluebikes to provide limited-income individuals with subsidized annual passes to Greater Boston’s bike-share program. 

“The Boston Cyclist Union believes that everyone who wants to bike should be able to do so, but we also know the cost of owning a bike or buying a bike-share pass is a barrier for many people,” said Eliza Parad, interim executive director of the BCU. “Through this partnership, we’re looking forward to providing increased access to bikes, particularly for those who can’t afford cars and want to try biking or increasing how often they bike during this public health crisis”. 

The subsidized passes cost just $5, versus $100 for a standard annual pass, increasing transportation equity and improving access to a safe, healthy and socially distant mode of travel. The BCU’s pass program is distinguished from Bluebikes’ own income-eligible program by further subsidy (from $50 to $5 annual cost) and additional flexibility to enroll online in order to limit in-person interactions this season. Residents of any municipality in the Bluebikes system who meet certain income-based criteria are eligible for the discounted passes. The BCU and Wagner Foundation aim to distribute passes to 150 applicants beginning this month.

“As COVID-19 reminds us, transit is linked to public health,” said Charlotte Wagner of the Wagner Foundation. “ Providing safe and accessible transportation options in a crisis is smart and necessary. Long-term, we must invest in a holistic vision of community wellbeing that incorporates transit and health equity.”

The discounted passes are being made available at a critical time for transportation. Transit ridership has plunged globally as people seek to avoid proximity to others in enclosed spaces. That has led to a surge in bike sales, especially on bikes under $400. Still, not everyone has the means to afford their own bike. The discounted pass program solves that problem, ensuring that those who want to bike have the option to do so. 

About the Boston Cyclists Union

The Boston Cyclists Union’s  mission is to transform the streets of greater Boston into equitable and inviting people-centered spaces affording access and connection for every body. The organization accomplishes this through organizing, advocacy, public actions, and holding city and state agencies accountable to build out the network of safe, protected bike infrastructure.

About the Wagner Foundation

The Wagner Foundation is working to build a just and robust community where all people have equitable access to opportunity and the ability to live a life of purpose and dignity. The Foundation supports organizations that improve health equity, increase economic mobility, expand institutional fairness, and strive for cultural transformation