Saturday, August 27, 2011

How bikesharing is changing DC

Capital Bikeshare
Photo by kevnkovl
David Alpert of Greater Greater Washington writes a good article in the Post entitled How those red public bicycles are changing D.C.: Here are some excerpts from the article:
After Tuesday’s earthquake, roads were jammed and Metro slowed, but one mode of transportation sparkled: bicycling. People who had biked to work had little trouble getting home, and the Capital Bikeshare system recorded 1,236 rides between 2 and 4 p.m., more than three times the number for same period the previous day.

That’s a particularly impressive statistic, given that there are only 1,100 bikes in the system and that the vans that redistribute bikes got stuck in the traffic.

Disasters, though, aren’t really what Capital Bikeshare is about. It’s about giving people another option to get around every day. In that, it’s been a rousing success.

Building roads or trains is expensive, while growing CaBi (usually pronounced “cabbie”) is one of the cheapest ways we have to quickly improve mobility. Consider this: Simply rebuilding the Gainesville Interstate 66 interchange will cost about 18 times as much as setting up the whole CaBi system.

Paris has 20,000 bicycles at 1,202 stations (vs. our 120) in a space smaller than inside-the-Beltway Washington. We should have that many, too, and could for about the same price as that Gainesville interchange. Not that CaBi has to limit itself to inside the Beltway: Rockville is getting a small set of bikes and stations . College Park wants in, too. Something in Tysons Corner could ease the third rush hour that occurs when office workers drive to nearby restaurants.

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