Bike-Sharing in Washington D.C. 10x Bigger
May 25, 2010 Leave a comment
Just yesterday I blogged about our city ranked as the top city in healthy living life style. It looks like it is about to get even healthier. SmartBike, the first bike-sharing program in the country plans to implement a bigger and better bike-share. Not quite sure to thank the SmartBike or the administration for this yet. Once I find out more, I’ll do another blog post about it.
SmartBike currently has about 120 bikes and 10 stations around DC, but the new version of the project will have about 1,100 bikes and 114 stations all around the district and in the neighboring Arlington County.
This expansion has been widely rumored for months, since Cyberpresse reported a deal was in the works. U.S. company Alta Bicycle Share will actually operate the system and employ the staff. The system should launch in the fall.
The new system will allow a wider range of membership opportunities. Annual memberships will cost $80, double the current SmartBike rate of $40, though for a much better service. People can also purchase monthly memberships for $30 or daily ones for $5. All memberships allow unlimited bike rentals, free for the first 30 minutes with usage fees after 30 minutes.
Clear Channel will apparently no longer be in charge, which will probably be a good thing since their incentives were to put more ads in town, not to expand service.
According to Streetsblog, that could be just the beginning: Apparently DC is applying for federal money to further double the number of bikes, and Arlington intends to add more bikes and stations too.
Given the obesity problem the nation is dealing with today and plans to reduce CO2 level nationwide, I hope our other major cities follow our footsteps on this