Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Happy Birthday, CaBi!

Capital Bikeshare turned one-year old today.  Quite a milestone. And by all accounts, it's been a very successful first year. (WashCycle's done a great job from the beginning staying on top of CaBi-related news items. See his CaBi posts here.) They're even having a birthday bash!

In one of those neat little coincidences, CaBi had its 1,000,000th ride on the day of the one-year mark since it began operations. I read somewhere that's an average of between 3 and 4 trips per bike per day. Pretty good for a new system that's just getting going. 

I've got my own personal bike, which I love very much, and 99% of my rides involve my home in Alexandria, which doesn't have CaBi stations yet, so I never had occasion to buy an annual membership. I do account one of those 1,000,000 trips, though. I bought a one-day membership last winter to try out the system. I really like it, and the bikes are well designed and well built for their particular purpose. If I still lived in DC proper, or even if I lived in Arlington, I would almost definitely find it worth the annual membership fee.

With the long-awaited demise of the Tourmobile stranglehold on the National Park Service (NPS), there is new hope that Capital Bikeshare will finally be able to install a few stations on the Mall and on some of the smaller neighborhood parks in the District that are run by NPS. Even without that, the system continues to expand. It's helped to get lot more people cycling in the streets of DC, and slowly but surely, most motorists in the downtown area are getting used to the idea, too.

Boston and New York are also launching CaBi-like bike sharing programs. I hope that their systems meet the same success that CaBi has had and that bike sharing continues to to expand, not only inside DC, but into other metro areas around the country.

Congratulation to CaBi on turning one and having such a successful first year. 1,000,000 rides! Here's to millions and millions (or even billions and billions [0:30]) more.

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