Dockless Bikeshare Program May Come to DC in September

Bikeshare enthusiasts may get the opportunity this month to try dockless bikes -- meaning riders can lock their rented bike up anywhere, without a station.

The D.C. Department of Transportation and at least one dockless bikeshare company may begin offering bikes as soon as Wednesday, Sept. 20.

The new system would allow riders to stop anywhere and lock their bikes electronically. It will supplement D.C.'s publically funded Capital Bikeshare, but be separately owned and operated by a private company, according to a DDOT statement.

Capital Bikeshare requires riders to return bikes to docking stations throughout the city. Some riders had problems with this system, including stations being full or out of their way. One woman was surprised with a $157 charge after improperly locking her bike into the system, News4 previously reported.

DDOT is asking the public for feedback on various aspects of the program, including the number of bikes that should be allowed and parking requirements. The DDOT website has information about how to weigh in, and asks citizens to provide feedback on the pilot program before Sept. 15.

DDOT officials declined to say which companies may participate in the pilot program, which will last until April 2018.

"Such technology has the potential to expand the number of bikeshare bikes in the District, and to provide access in areas DDOT has not yet been able to add bikeshare infrastructure," a DDOT statement said.

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