Boston Plans America's Biggest Bike-sharing Program

Following a trip to Boston early this summer, I left with one particularly indelible impression about the lovely city: The drivers there are crazy. I spent most of my time on the "T," the favored mode of transportation for many sensible citizens. But a jaunt around the city by car and a two-way trip on the Massachusetts Turnpike left me shaken by the patient, seemingly deliberate impulse drivers had to run into each other or make up their own lanes.

So it's easy for me to understand why Boston is one of the most walkable cities in the world -- who would want to drive? At HowStuffWorks, we even ranked it at No. 4 on a list of the United States' five most walkable cities. There's the aforementioned "T" and the miles of foot and bike paths.

But according to Inhabitat, the city's about to become even easier to get around sans car due to a new bike-sharing system. The program, which should start next summer, will feature bikes at 290 stations around the city. Swipe your credit card at a station, score some wheels while you need them, then dock the bike at the station closest to you when you're done.

A similar system in Montreal isn't especially cheap -- about $78 per year or $5 per day -- but that sounds fairly economical when stacked up against car ownership or regular public transport. And considering you don't need to tote around heavy locks and chains (or your wheels and fancy seat for that matter), it's probably worth it for the avid urban biker.

More bikes, more walking: Top 5 Ways to Save the Planet with Bicycles 5 Walkable Cities What's a walk score? Vauban, Germany: Suburban Life Without Cars "Intended Users" and Oberstar's Bike Bill