Yesterday morning a swarm of identical bright red bikes flew through the streets of Washington DC on their inaugural ride. Marking the start of the Capital Bikeshare program the cycles are part of a new program in the Nation’s capital that hopes to encourage bike transport. The fleet is currently at 400 bikes but is expected to grow to 1,100 bikes by the end of October, making it the largest bikeshare in the country.
Using the bikes in the Capital Bikeshare program is as easy as pie. Anyone with a credit card can be a member and it costs $5 for one day, $25 for 30 days and $75 per year. The per use charge is free for the first half hour, $1.50 for the second 30 minutes, $3 for the third 30 minutes and $6 for every 30 minutes after that. The pricing is meant to encourage quick trips across town and to dissuade riders from taking long leisurely bike rides throughout the city. There are already more than 50 stations.
“What we have been able to accomplish and launch here today will be a legacy for a healthier, more vibrant city providing options for travelers looking for an alternate way to travel throughout the region now and for future generations,” said D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty during the launch of the program yesterday. Fenty’s bikeshare celebration comes on the heels of the partially popular D.C. mayor’s loss of the democratic primary. Supporters of Fenty note his wild exuberance for biking as one of his positive qualities — he’s more than doubled the amount of bike lanes since 2008. The bikeshare program in D.C. has come to fruition in just 12 months and hopefully will be a shining light for other US countries to jump on the bike transportation boat.