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In front of a large crowd at government center, Mayor Thomas M. Menino signed a contract with Alta Bicycle Share, which will soon start installing 600 bicycles in 61 stations across the city. Locations are still being determined, but will include Kenmore Square, Roxbury, the South End, Longwood Medical area, Allston, Brighton, Back Bay and more….

People will be able to rent bikes from solar-powered touch-screen kiosks throughout the city. Hubway will feature “swipe card” payments and will cost about $5 a day, with free trips that are 30 minutes or less, and $85 annual memberships.

Similar to systems in Washington D.C., Montreal, London and Melbourne, people can rent bikes from one kiosk, and return them at another. Typically, there will be about 10 bikes at each station.

"We can put a station down in about an hour," said Alta Bicycle Share president Alison Cohen.

Eventually, Hubway could grow to as many as 5,000 bikes across Cambridge, Brookline and Somerville, said Marc Draisen, Executive Director of the Metropolitan Area Planning Council.

"Bike Share will transform the region," Draisen said. "It’s a completely new part of our transportation network, giving people a green and healthy way to get around, closing gaps in the MBTA, and providing the first and last mile connection that often prevents people from using transit."