The Boston public bike sharing program Bluebikes is now offering free two hour rides to help voters get to the polls on Election Day.
Sponsored by Massachusetts’s Blue Cross Blue Shield, the company is covering the rides in order “to provide a socially distant and easy transportation option for voters,” as stated in a press release from Bluebikes.
For Emerson students, bike stations surround campus at the corners of Boylston and Washington Street, Stuart and Charles Street, and Boylston and Charles Street.
Jeff Bellows, vice president of corporate citizenship and public affairs at Blue Cross, believes that with COVID-19, voters may be hesitant to use public transportation to submit their ballot. Thus, complementary trips will be available for eight Massachusetts cities: Arlington, Boston, Brookline, Cambridge, Everett, Newton, Somerville, and Watertown.
“[Blue Cross] are proud to help increase access to polling stations across our communities by covering the cost of Bluebikes rides on Election Day,” Bellows said in an interview. “[Blue Cross] hopes those who plan to vote in person across metro Boston will take advantage of free Bluebikes rides as they exercise their civic right to vote.”
Across the eight towns, there are more than 350 Bluebikes stations from where voters can grab unlimited rides using the “Adventure Pass” on the Bluebikes mobile app.
First-year student Luke Colombero has a membership plan for $20 a month that he often uses to bike to the Guitar Center in the North End and Fenway. He said he uses Bluebikes at least three times a week.
“It’s very convenient and helps me get to places a lot quicker than just walking,” Colombero said.
Susan Eyring, also a first-year, has the monthly plan for her bike rides to the Charles River Esplanade, Franklin Park, and Harvard. Eyring is an avid biker and used to regularly bike back home in Singapore. Since she could not bring her bike to college, she uses Bluebikes to de-stress.
“There’s something exhilarating and nice about being able to just bike and go out with friends,” Eyring said.
Bluebike is promoting its Election Day deal on Instagram and Twitter (@RideBluebikes). Eyring said that she has seen the offer on her social media.
“It’s a great initiative to get people to and from the polls that might not be able or might not want to walk there because of how far it is,” Eyring said.
Eyring further explained that she is not going to take advantage of the deal because she believes other people will need it more than her, as she has a mere 15-minute walk from Emerson to the polling center on Tuesday.
In the end, Blue Cross Blue Shield hopes the Bluebike offer encourages voters to do their civic duty as American citizens.
“We certainly want to encourage people to vote this year and always,” Bellows said.