Monday, September 20, 2010

Capital Bikeshare opens today

While bike sharing has been available in DC since 2008 when Smartbike DC was launched with 10 stations and 100 bikes, a new system, Capital Bikeshare, opens today with 114 stations and 1,100 bicycles. The key to successful bike sharing is having a critical mass of bikes and stations so users can count on finding bikes, and places to park them, for most of their short trips. While 114 stations isn't nearly enough to cover an area the size of DC and Arlington, it's a great start. As The WashCycle says, "things will never be the same again."
Dan Malouff is right, "Bikesharing is going to be awesome." It will be the biggest thing to happen to area transit since Metrorail opened. It will change travel patterns and attitudes. It'll be good for the economy and public health. The DC region has seen a steady climb in bike commuting from 1.26% in 2005 to 1.63% in 2008. That number could double in a couple of years and then double again before mid-decade. We'll see the percentage of trips - already as high as 5-7% in some neighborhoods - go up even farther where Capital Bikeshare stations are located. Metro usage could see a bump as well, as Capital Bikeshare is a perfect compliment to rail/bus transit.
We'll get a chance to check out the system on Wednesday. FABB plans to have a table at the Carfree Day event at the Crystal City Capital Bikeshare station located at Crystal Dr & 23rd St S. See the Capital Bikeshare station map. We'll have copies of the Guide for Reviewing Public Road Design and Bicycling Accommodations for Virginia Bicycling Advocates.

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