Citywide bike share programs have popped up in New York City, Boston, and Washington D.C., giving Americans a cheaper alternative to mass transit, albeit one that requires an investment in a helmet. Thanks to a team out of MIT, Boston will be the first of those cities to offer a bike helmet share program to go along with its bike share program.
The bike helmet vending machine has been developed by HelmetHub, and will be appearing in July near many of the Boston bike share stations known has the Hubway. HelmetHub was developed by a group out of MIT and was first proposed during the Product Engineering Final Presentation in December 2011. As the Boston bike sharing program grew in popularity so did the idea to make HelmetHub a reality.
The HelmetHub bike helmet vending machines are solar powered and can hold 36 bike helmets. Helmet rentals will be around $2 and riders will also have the option to purchase the helmet at a yet unknown price. Once a user is finished with their rented bike helmet, they return the helmet to a HelmetHub kiosk where the helmet will be sent to the company’s headquarters to be cleaned, sanitized, and restocked at HelmetHub locations around the city.
Currently the city of Boston does not require bike riders to wear helmets. However, recent figures released by the Boston Mayor’s Office show that in bicycle accidents where Emergency Medical Service personnel were needed at the scene, 52% of bicyclists involved in the accidents were not wearing helmets.
Andrew Meggison was born in the state of Maine and educated in Massachusetts. Andrew earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Government and International Relations from Clark University and a Master’s Degree in Political Science from Northeastern University. Being an Eagle Scout, Andrew has a passion for all things environmental. In his free time Andrew enjoys writing, exploring the great outdoors, a good film, and a creative cocktail. You can follow Andrew on Twitter @AndrewMeggison