Last Updated: 09 October 2020
Written by Molly Reff
To recognize World Mental Health Day and to support community health and wellness, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts is sponsoring free rides on Bluebikes, metro Boston’s public bike-share system, on Saturday, Oct. 10.
Riders can take Bluebikes for a spin, free of charge, from any of the more than 350 Bluebikes stations across the system’s eight municipalities: Arlington, Boston, Brookline, Cambridge, Everett, Newton, Somerville and Watertown, with stations in Chelsea and Revere launching soon. Blue Cross is the title sponsor of Bluebikes, which is owned by the municipalities.
Riders can download and open the Bluebikes app on a mobile device and then choose “Adventure Pass” to take advantage of free, two-hour Bluebikes trips at any time during World Mental Health Day, which is observed annually to raise awareness of global mental-health issues.
Exercise is known to improve mental health, including reducing anxiety, depression and negative mood. A recent study of 1.2 million people in the United States found that those who exercise report having 1.5 fewer days of poor mental health a month, compared to people who do not exercise.
In addition to its sponsorship of free Bluebikes rides, Blue Cross continues to introduce new initiatives to ensure its members have access to high-quality, affordable mental-health care, including expansion of coverage for in-network telehealth visits with mental health clinicians.
“As the pandemic continues to significantly impact our daily lives, we’re looking to increase awareness of activities that can improve mental health, such as outdoor exercise,” said Kathy Klingler, chief consumer experience and marketing officer at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, in an Oct. 7 news release. “We’re thrilled to leverage our sponsorship of Bluebikes to increase access to a healthy transportation option while raising awareness of mental health issues, and we hope riders across Metro Boston enjoy some time outside with free rides on us this Saturday.”
Blue Cross is in the third year of a six-year Bluebikes title sponsorship, which launched in May 2018. Through its partnership with the municipal owners of Bluebikes, Blue Cross is supporting continued expansion, including system upgrades, additional bikes and station expansions to increase access.
Bluebikes is public transportation by bike. Since launching in 2011, more than 12 million trips have been taken on Bluebikes, including more than 2.5 million trips in 2019.