Hubway Wants Riders to Design a Special Bike for Their Fleet

The winner with the best artistic design gets their Twitter handle engraved on the unique ride.

Photo by Alex Nenopoulos

Photo by Alex Nenopoulos

Tucked away in some of Hubway’s docking stations around Greater Boston are a few unique bikes unlike the others that the company likes to refer to as “unicorns.”

These special bikes are usually marked with individualized sayings—like the one with a quote from former Mayor Tom Menino—and get commuters excited when they find the rare rides buried among the lines of silver-and-green bikes throughout the system.

To add to these distinct sets of wheels already out there being enjoyed by the general public, Hubway is launching a contest to let riders come up with a design of their own.

From Monday, July 21, through Tuesday, August 12, Hubway officials will be accepting submissions from creative artists and designers to create a new look for a bike as part of the “Hubway Everyday” competition.

“This could potentially just be a quote, but we wanted to open it up to everything,” said Benjy Kantor, marketing manager for Hubway. “It’s wide open to interpretation, and we left it that way because we want to see what inspires people about Boston, and Cambridge, and Somerville, and Brookline.”

At the end of the submission process, a team of leaders from those four communities will select five of the best design concepts and make them available online, where people will get a total of two weeks to cast their vote and choose their favorite artistic interpretations of what makes the area great. Kantor said the only rule contestants need to follow when drawing up their proposal is to include the hashtag #HubwayEveryday in the design.

The company said in their contest details that they want designs to be inspired by the Greater Boston area, why people choose to use the system, and the environment that they live, work, and play in.

“I’m excited because I don’t have a full idea of what people will submit, but it could range from things like notable landmarks—maybe someone will put the Citgo sign on a bike design—to maybe a picture of the Boston skyline,” said Kantor.

The design, which must be submitted as a PDF to the company, doesn’t have to be perfect, either. Kantor said that the artist whose design is selected through the voting process would have the opportunity to work with an in-house expert to tweak details and make the artwork come to life and fit onto the bike.

In addition to having their design become part of the fleet of 1,300 bikes throughout the four cities and towns that have docking stations, the winner will get to have their name —or Twitter handle—emblazoned on the bike, and receive a free annual Hubway membership.

For more details about the contest, visit Hubway’s website here.