BOSTON, Sept. 18, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- To support their ongoing efforts to increase accessibility to health care across the Commonwealth, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts (Blue Cross) and the City of Boston have announced the expansion of the Bluebikes system to seven new docking stations located at community health centers in Boston. Additionally, Blue Cross is donating $10,000, and Bluebikes operator Lyft is matching the donation, to further support the Bluebikes system's income-eligible program, making both bike share and health and wellness services easier to reach for individuals across the city. Blue Cross is the title sponsor of Bluebikes, Metro Boston's public bike share system.
To commemorate Bluebikes' expansion to community health centers, Blue Cross and the City of Boston unveiled the first new station at The Dimock Center, which hosted a ribbon-cutting celebration today. The City of Boston Chief of Streets, Transportation and Sanitation Chris Osgood, The Dimock Center Vice President of Institutional Advancement Raquel Rosenblatt and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Vice President of Corporate Citizenship & Public Affairs Jeff Bellows took part in today's ceremony. (Photos can be accessed here and photo captions are below).
In addition to its donation, Blue Cross is offering a free one-month Bluebikes voucher to individuals who qualify for the bike share system's income-eligible program. Blue Cross and Lyft are also launching a series of community events and rides that teach bike skills and safety.
"We are committed to increasing access to wellness and fitness opportunities for our members and the community through Bluebikes," said Kathy Klingler, chief marketing officer of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts. "By enhancing the income-eligible program and adding stations at community health centers, we're furthering our goal of expanding access to quality, affordable health care while also promoting a healthy, sustainable mode of transportation."
The rollout of the newest stations enables more riders to be able to overcome the distance and cost burdens frequently associated with accessing health and wellness options. Blue Cross' sponsorship of the new stations extends its ongoing partnerships with community health centers in Boston, including a recent donation to Fenway Community Health Center for every ride on a Bluebikes Proud bike during Pride Month in June.
"We are thrilled to collaborate with Blue Cross on the continued expansion of the Bluebikes system, especially in efforts to make biking more accessible," said Chris Osgood, City of Boston chief of the streets, transportation and sanitation. "We look forward to seeing the incredible benefit these new stations will be for residents and workers in Boston."
Through its partnership with the municipal owners of Bluebikes (Boston, Brookline, Cambridge, Everett and Somerville), Blue Cross is supporting continued growth and expansion, including system upgrades, additional bikes, new mobile app features and station expansions to create increased access. By the end of 2019, the five municipalities will own more than 3,500 bikes and 325 stations across the Bluebikes system. In July, Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh and the Boston Transportation Department announced the locations of more than 50 new Bluebikes stations being installed by the end of 2019, including to new parts of West Roxbury, Roslindale and Dorchester, to make the bike share system convenient for more residents across the city.
Photo Caption 1 (BCBSMA_ExpansionDimock1): Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Vice President of Corporate Citizenship & Public Affairs Jeff Bellows announces the opening of the first of seven Bluebikes stations at community health centers across Boston, sponsored by Blue Cross, at a ribbon cutting ceremony for the Dimock Center station on September 18th. Blue Cross is the title sponsor of Bluebikes.
Photo Caption 2 (BCBSMA_ExpansionDimock2): Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Vice President of Corporate Citizenship & Public Affairs Jeff Bellows (2nd from right) officially opens The Dimock Center Bluebikes station with a ceremonial ribbon cutting alongside (l-r) Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Director of Corporate Citizenship & Business Integration Yvonne Tang, The Dimock Center Vice President of Institutional Advancement Raquel Rosenblatt and City of Boston Chief of Streets, Transportation and Sanitation Chris Osgood. As the program's title sponsor, Blue Cross is sponsoring seven new Bluebikes stations at community health centers in Boston.
Photo Caption 3 (BCBSMA_ExpansionDimock3): Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Vice President of Corporate Citizenship & Public Affairs Jeff Bellows (2nd from right) announced Blue Cross' commitment to donating $10,000 to the Bluebikes income-eligible program, which will be matched by Lyft. The announcement came during a ribbon cutting ceremony at The Dimock Center, the location of the first of seven new Bluebikes stations at community health centers. The new station openings are sponsored by Blue Cross, which is the Bluebikes system's title sponsor.
Bluebikes is public transportation by bike. Owned and jointly governed by the municipalities of Boston, Brookline, Cambridge, Everett and Somerville, Bluebikes offers a fast, fun, and affordable transportation option. Users can ride any of the 2500+ bikes to and from the 260+ stations across the region. By the end of 2019, the municipalities will provide 3,500 bikes and 325 stations for their residents, workers, and visitors and will be expanding the system to Everett. Since launching in 2011, more than 8.6 million trips have been taken on Bluebikes, including more than 430,000 trips so far in 2019.
About Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts (bluecrossma.com) is a community-focused, tax-paying, not-for-profit health plan headquartered in Boston. We are committed to the relentless pursuit of quality, affordable health care with an unparalleled consumer experience. Consistent with our promise to always put our members first, we are rated among the nation's best health plans for member satisfaction and quality. Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn.
SOURCE Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts