Posted by Matt Byrne March 13, 2012 10:20 AM
Officials from the city of Somerville and the Hubway bicycle sharing program are close to signing an agreement that could bring as many as eight bike stations to the city this summer.
Scott Mullen, general manager for Hubway, said that negotiations are near complete with Somerville, Cambridge, and Brookline. If current discussions hold, Cambridge could receive as many as 22 rental stations, while Brookline is slated to get four, Mullen said.
But even if an agreement is reached in the coming days, Mullen predicted it would be about July before the gray and black bikes would start showing up on racks in the outlying cities.
"Of course we're going to expedite and get this done as soon as possible," Mullen said. "But to be realistic it's going to be a about a four-month lag."
The popular sharing program, which in its first season last year recorded 140,000 trips by riders, far exceeded expectations, the Globe reported in November.
On Thursday the program kicks off again with a "soft open," when about 60 percent of racks in Boston will be stocked with bikes available for rent. All Boston stations are expected open by April 1, Mullen said.