Boston unveils first bicycle helmet vending machine

Boston unveils first bicycle helmet vending machine

Boston Mayor Thomas Menino has unveiled a vending machine that dispenses bicycle helmets for users of the city’s bike sharing service, a street kiosk he said was the first of its kind in the country.

Menino said the so-called HelmetHub machine, attached to one of the city’s Hubway bike rental stations at the intersection of Boylston Street and Massachusetts Avenue, will allow users to rent and return helmets, adding a measure of safety to the service.

“Our goal is to make Hubway a great and safe way to get around town,” he said in a statement released on Tuesday evening.

The machines were designed by HelmetHub, a company founded by MIT engineering graduates that won a contract from the city in May, the statement said.

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The company plans to test the first machine and gather data during the remainder of the year before introducing HelmetHub machines more widely in 2014.

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