Marcin Kunicki coasted into South Station's Hubway rack today, and secured his borrowed bicycle with ease.
"I own a bike, but the problem with owning a bike is you have to remember to take it home at night or you've got to lock it up somewhere," Kunicki said. "This is easy; point A to point B. There are stations everywhere and you can pick it up anywhere. A five minute ride through the city versus 20 minutes on the T."
Kunicki was one of hundreds of cyclists today to take a Hubway bike for a spin.
It was the official launch of the bike-sharing program's third season, which means cyclists now have access to roughly 1,100 bikes throughout Boston, Charlestown, Dorchester, Cambridge, Brookline, Somerville, Roxbury, and for the first time this year, Jamaica Plain.
Hubway General Manager Scott Mullen credits what he considers to be a positive impact on public health, air quality, congestion mitigation, local economic impact, and a reconnection of people to urban places for the program's growing popularity.
"And if those weren’t enough, riding Hubway is a ton of fun," Mullen said.
As of today, 95 of the program's 112 bike stations were active; the rest will be up and running by mid-month. Hubway teamed up with The Red Sox foundation to commemorate the launch. Some cyclists won free Sox merchandise, Hubway day passes and Opening Day tickets.
At $5 per day, $12 for three days or $85 annually, Kunicki said the cost to cycle was "perfectly reasonable."
He also had a tip for cyclists: "I bring my own helmet. Always wear a helmet."