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Capital Bikeshare hits 10-year anniversary

Capital Bikeshare hits 10-year anniversary

Docked bicycle service Capital Bikeshare notched a decade of service in D.C. late final month.

Metropolis officers have installed 5 Capital Bikeshare stations with 60 bike docks throughout the Foggy Backside Campus amid station expansions, the debut of electrical bikes and the rollout of pupil reductions within the decade-long growth of this system, which started Sept. 20, 2010. College spokesperson Crystal Nosal mentioned the system has created new methods of commuting to and round campus, including that officers hope to proceed working with college students and neighborhood members to develop pupil entry to this system sooner or later.

“D.C. authorities’s bicycle grasp plan notes many advantages of enhancing handy entry to bicycle-sharing providers to the GW neighborhood, together with addressing the area’s main supply of air air pollution by reducing congestion for roads, easing burdens on crowded widespread native transit providers and growing equitable, wholesome and inexpensive transportation choices,” she mentioned in an e mail.

Capital Bikeshare officers didn’t return a request for remark.

Marina Streznewski, the president of the Foggy Backside Affiliation, mentioned Capital Bikeshare has been “an vital a part of the transportation system” within the native neighborhood close to campus. She mentioned program officers ought to encourage riders to put on helmets and distribute extra security data in years forward.

Streznewski mentioned Capital Bikeshare is “a lot safer” than different bike-sharing programs as a result of the docking stations guarantee bikes don’t develop into obstacles scattered throughout the sidewalk – a security concern locals have voiced in recent times.

“I like Capital Bikeshare a complete lot greater than I just like the dockless bikes and scooters, which wind up everywhere in the sidewalks,” she mentioned. “The truth that the Capital Bikeshare has a dock I believe makes it a a lot safer type of system.”

Right here’s how right this moment’s community of Capital Bikeshare stations got here to campus:

Bike-sharing begins
Capital Bikeshare was preceded by an analogous program referred to as SmartBike DC, which launched in 2008 with 120 bikes and 10 stations, one located simply exterior of the GW Hospital. About 1,600 individuals joined as members inside its first two years, in line with the Capital Bikeshare website.

District officers initiated the Capital Bikeshare program in 2010 by way of a partnership with metropolis officers from Arlington, Virginia, unveiling a number of 100 stations within the District that will collectively maintain about 1,100 bikes. District Division of Transportation officers chosen three websites for Capital Bikeshare stations on campus – one on the present station in entrance of GW Hospital, one other station at 1959 E St. and a 3rd exterior The Outlets at 2000 Penn.

Increasing stations
Through the years, D.C. officers and neighborhood leaders have labored to develop Capital Bikeshare’s presence round GW’s campus, each in Foggy Backside and close to the Mount Vernon Campus.

Metropolis officers installed a bike-sharing station with 16 bike slots in entrance of Duques Corridor in 2017.

A 12 months later, Capital Bikeshare opened one other station with 16 docks close to the Vern. College students mentioned on the time that the brand new addition offered higher entry to a way of transportation than the Mount Vernon Specific.

The Foggy Backside and West Finish Advisory Neighborhood Fee continued the push for Capital Bikeshare’s regular enlargement final 12 months. ANC commissioners passed a decision urgent the D.C. authorities so as to add extra bikes to stations on campus.

System upgrades
Metropolis officers have found new methods to reinforce Capital Bikeshare in more moderen years.

DDOT officers created a $25 pupil go final 12 months that supplied college students at D.C.-area universities one 12 months of discounted entry to the Capital Bikeshare system. Whereas common membership would price $85, officers signed the deal final August to present college students higher bike entry for the complete educational 12 months.

Nosal mentioned officers started discussing the low cost plan with the Scholar Affiliation in 2017 and met with planners from Capital Bikeshare and the D.C. authorities to implement the discounted pupil membership service. She mentioned officers have since labored to find spots for extra Capital Bikeshare stations close to campus by way of talks with DDOT management, college students and neighborhood members.

A lot of Capital Bikeshare’s progress in Foggy Backside has been a product of the College’s deal with college students and sustainability, Nosal mentioned.

“In response to suggestions from pupil management, to reinforce the scholar expertise and likewise work towards GW’s sustainability targets, the College has applied quite a few alternate transportation choices together with its partnership with Capital Bikeshare,” she mentioned.

Metropolis officers launched one other improve to Capital Bikeshare in summer season 2019 when Lyft launched a brand new characteristic that permits customers to hire public bikes by way of their account.

In the newest enchancment to Capital Bikeshare, metropolis officers began rolling out electrical bikes this summer season after a yearlong mechanical concern saved the e-bikes off metropolis streets.

System struggles
Capital Bikeshare ridership dipped final calendar 12 months, as single rides – that are bought by locals who aren’t members of this system – dropped from about 80,000 rides monthly in 2018 to 40,000 in 2019.

The service was dealt one other blow with the onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic, as ridership tanked by greater than 60,000 rides monthly in April with lower than 20,000 month-to-month journeys. Regardless of the ridership hit, Capital Bikeshare officers reached out to important employees struggling by way of the pandemic and offered them free memberships with limitless 30-minute rides earlier this 12 months.

The way forward for Capital Bikeshare
Throughout a troublesome time for transportation, Capital Bikeshare’s numbers define a extra encouraging pre-pandemic backdrop. Membership has climbed from about 1,200 in 2010 to greater than 26,500 right this moment, and 27 million journeys have lined 150 million miles. Greater than 600 stations and 5,000 bikes line metropolis streets all through the D.C.-area.

Mayor Muriel Bowser mentioned in a press release final month that Capital Bikeshare has upheld a “essential a part of our transportation community” as officers stay looking forward to this system’s persevering with success sooner or later.

“We stay up for the subsequent decade of constructing out and increasing the Capital Bikeshare system to present much more riders a sustainable strategy to journey by way of neighborhoods, town and the area,” she mentioned.



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