How a stylish, convenient bikeshare program catapulted the District into the ranks of America's elite biking cities
Capital Bikeshare, the wildly popular bikesharing program in Washington, D.C., now claims to have nearly 11,000 members and 1,100 bikes in circulation from "over 110" self-service stations placed strategically around the city and Arlington, Virginia. (There's a certain binary quality and similarity to those numbers, no?)
According to an article written by Ashley Halsey III and published over the weekend in The Washington Post, "more than 300,000 rides have been logged since the program launched September 20, and people were using the bikes an average of 3,000 times a day in mid-April." No wonder I seem to see them everywhere. The program's web site says that one can join for 24 hours, five days, 30 days, or a year, and have access to the bikes 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
The popularity of the program is due to the attractiveness of the sturdy red bikes--every distinctive Capital Bikeshare vehicle on the street is a rolling advertisement for the program--and its incredible convenience. The system is very easy to use, and riders may pick up a bike at any station and drop it off at any station, perfect for short, one-way trips. The first 30 minutes of each trip are free, making a year's membership a bargain for $75 if one uses the bikes for in-city commuting and errands. Each additional 30 minutes incurs an additional fee.