BikeShare: Washington on Two Wheels

By Kimberly Suiters
|  Monday, Sep 20, 2010  |  Updated 1:46 PM EDT
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Battling D.C.'s Traffic With Bikes, Signals, Fines and Fees

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Battling D.C.'s Traffic With Bikes, Signals, Fines and Fees

According to one survey, D.C. has the nation's worst traffic, and the best way to improve it is a matter of much debate.
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It's a program in our nation's capital that doesn't require an accountant, a lawyer, or a lobbyist to make its inner workings crystal clear.

Join. Take. Ride. Return.

The District's bike-sharing program is that easy.

The greater obstacle: We're not a people known for sharing much ... for compromising ... for, God forbid, carpooling.

But Washingtonians -- and anyone with a valid credit card -- are invited to ride for a day, a month, or a year. We are invited to get some exercise, save some money, and spare the planet.

Just don't ride for longer than 24 hours, or the bike will be considered stolen and an automatic "$1,000 ticket" will be billed directly to you.

The cherry-red bikes, all 1,100 of them, are equipped with three speeds, internal hub gears, lights, and a front rack. But no helmet. And they're certainly not worth $1,000 each. So bring them back.

The Capital Bikeshare program replaces the mayor's beloved SmartBike program.

"Going regional from SmartBike to Capital Bikeshare takes us to bike equality with cars,” Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) said. “This is where I have been heralded throughout my service in working with our bikers to get the federal funds that are responsible for our extensive network of bike trails. With Capital Bikeshare, our region is a cohesive and more green, environmentally friendly community.”

In the coming weeks, Bikeshare will roll out 114 stations in D.C. and Arlington.

A year-long membership costs $50, month-long usage costs $25, and the daily rental rate is $5.

Want to see how to do it? Click here.

Want to see where to get them? Click here.

Want to know even more? Click here. 

But, Washingtonians, to play fair, we will have to learn to share. Share a bike. And share the road.

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