Monday, August 4, 2008

SmartBike Comes To DC

Rumor has it that the much anticipated bike sharing program in Washington, DC, is operational! Supre-fantastique! Check it out and report back. Details and locations are here: SmartBike DC.

Photo: Jeff Peel, some rights reserved, CC 2.0


Alexander Browne said...

Looks like the same bikes as Barcelona's Bicing system.

Alexandra said...

Oh it's here all right. They are a lot like some of the European bike rentals - Stockholm and Paris being two I am more familiar with. I haven't tried the bikes here yet as I am usually quite happily on my own bike but I have seen some people riding around downtown and the mall on them.
Plenty of locals are fairly unaware of them - base on happy hour conversations with the 20-50 something professional set. In DC the majority commutes on foot, metro, bus, bike or mixes it up. In my office, about 25% commute by bike and about 25% on foot - maybe 5% by car at most - the rest are on metro or bus. This is not unusual for downtown. I am surprised with how few even know about the bike program as it would be a great feature for running errands at lunch for anyone who metros in.

I don't know how well it is set up at this point. An early complaint is the bike pick-up locations are fairly limited and spread out. What I have seen is racks for bikes that are at best 25% full. I am not certain if that means people are renting all the bikes OR if they don't have a full supply of bikes out -- they LOOK empty.