March 2011 - Spokes Magazine

March 2011 - Spokes Magazine

Behind Bars

Bikeshare Update - Bringing Bikes to the Masses

If you have been in D.C. or the Crystal City area of

Arlington, Va. over the winter, you could not miss

the ubiquitous red Capital Bikeshare bikes and

stations. The program started in September of last

year with around 1,100 bikes at 110 stations, and yes,

lots of people are riding them even in the cold

winter months.

by chris eatough

The success of Capital Bikeshare seems to be spurring

interest elsewhere around the region. Neighboring

jurisdictions to D.C. and Arlington are inquiring

about adding stations and joining in with the program,

and Baltimore is underway with a “request for

proposals” procedure to help them find a vendor that

would bring bikeshare to Charm City.

If the first five months of Capital Bikeshare operations

are an indicator, then the rest of the region can get

excited about their Bikeshare prospects. Here

are some Capital Bikeshare stats from those first

five months:

• Annual membership is already over 5,000 people.

• Over 180,000 total trips taken since launch on

September 20th.

• Ridership in winter months has remained high with

around 1,500 trips a day (even on bitter cold days).

The early adopters include both new cyclists and folks

that already appreciated the joy of two wheels. Many

people, such as Arlington resident Michael Hong, are

finding that Bikeshare is a great convenience, even if

they already own their own bike.

“I own a couple bikes but I've still found Capital

Bikeshare to be very useful,” he recently told SPOKES.

“Since I don't have to worry about locking up my own

bike when using Capital Bikeshare, I'm more relaxed

while riding the bike for errands. I also have more

flexibility with Capital Bikeshare. If the weather turns

bad, I can walk for the return trip. When I ride my

own bike, I can't do that.”

Hong also finds other benefits to include no storage

stress and the flexibility to switch modes and plans on

a whim.

“Capital Bikeshare has also increased my bike commuting.

It's not always easy to store my own bike at

work. With the Bikeshare bikes, I don't have to worry

about bike parking. I just dock the bike at a nearby

location and go to work. No worries. If I end up

working late, I have the option to take Metro for the

return trip home.”

When we finally thaw out from the winter freeze, ridership

is expected to blossom with the spring flowers.

Capital Bikeshare expansion plans in Arlington (stations

in Rosslyn, Courthouse, Clarendon and Ballston

in the spring) and D.C. (more stations to fill in the

The passion

for cycling

starts young…

and lasts forever.

The Bicycle Place –

the friendliest

shop in town.

Let us help

you explore

your passion.

8313 Grubb Road, Silver Spring MD 301-588-6160

14 March 2011

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