Washington, D.C., Expands Bike-Sharing Program
Washington, D.C., the first American city to launch a bike-sharing program, continues to endear itself to those on two wheels by announcing that it will replace SmartBike, a system with 120 bikes and 10 stations, with a new bike-sharing system that that will offer 1,100 bikes and 114 stations in the District and next-door Arlington County. The new system is modeled after Montreal's succesful Bixi bike system, which Andrew wrote about in February.
Treehugger has more details on the upgrade:
"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 (levels not yet specified) after 30 minutes."
And the system could get better. According to Streetsblog, the District is applying for fuderal funding to double the size of the new system. News of the expansion follows a string of good news for bike-sharing nationwide: Denver recently launched a 500-bike system and both Boston and Minneapolis are preparing to open 1,000-bike systems later in the year.