What if you went to the doctor and you left with a one year subscription to your city’s bike sharing program? Well in Boston, this is a reality! Doctors at the Boston Medical Center are now allowed to write low-income patients prescriptions for a one-year membership to Hubway, the city’s bike-share system. The new program is called “Prescribe-a-Bike” and is aimed at fighting the city’s growing obesity problem, particularly among low-income residents.
Along with the positive health benefits from this program, the environment receives benefits as well! There will be an estimated one billion cars on the road by 2020, consuming a total of 870 trillion gallons of gas that year! Vehicles are the leading contributor to air pollution, and vehicle exhaust contributes 60% of all CO2 emissions. On top of that, the Environmental Defense Fund reports 20% of greenhouse gas emissions, which are responsible for climate change, result from vehicles. BBC has also released a statement that if all commuters in the UK biked to work once a week for an entire year, there would be enough gas to travel to the moon and back 35,000 times – that’s crazy! Biking is a clean alternative and according to the National Household Transportation Survey, half of American workers live within 5 miles of their workplace, a viable biking distance.
Although with the harsh Chicago winters biking may not be a practical year-round option, the health and environmental benefits are enough to get anyone interested in this new prescription! Read more about the “Prescribe-a-Bike” program here!