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HelmetHub finally makes its Boston debut

A city-wide bike helmet rental system that has been twice delayed since its anticipated August launch officially debuted Wednesday at the Hubway station at Boylston and Mass Avenue.

Hubway is open for the 2013 season. PHOTO CREDIT: village14.com Hubway is open for the 2013 season. Credit: village14.com

A citywide bikehelmet rental system that has been twice delayed since its anticipated August launch officially debuted Wednesday at the Hubway station at Boylston Street and Massachusetts Avenue, according to HelmetHub.

HelmetHub, a company that supplies helmet vending machines,was first scheduled to launchon Aug. 26, but was delayed until Sept. 5. The September launch, however, was also pushed back due to a "technical glitch."

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Plans have been underway since the spring to install the helmet vending machines. The helmet station is the first of its kind in the country, and was installed as a trial as the Hubway season winds down, according to the company.

Boston Mayor Thomas Menino has embraced the initiative.

“I am thrilled to introduce another Boston biking first. This is the first bike share helmet vending machine in the country,” Menino said. “Our goal is to make Hubway a great and safe way to get around town, and HelmetHub is a step in the right direction for our growing cycling culture in the city of Boston.”

The HelmetHub machine is a street kiosk built into the Hubway platform that allows users to rent and return helmets when they rent Hubway bicycles. Returned helmets are removed from the machine and taken for inspection and sanitization.

Helmets cost $2 to rent if returned within 24 hours, or $20 to buy.

The company said it will "take lessons learned from the trial" and implement them into a wide-scale installation next year.

"HelmetHub’s team hopes to garner significant data during the rest of the 2013 season, and staff will be on-site at the machine to help answer questions and provide support to users," the company said in a statement.

Follow Morgan Rousseau on Twitter: @MetroMorgan
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