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USA's biggest bike share program maps out the future

Just over two years after its creation, Capital Bikeshare has demonstrated that Americans will use shared bikes for transportation if it is convenient. With about 1,670 bikes and 175 bike stations located through the Washington, DC area, Capital Bikeshare is reporting that commuters are using the bikes for an average of 7,000 short trips a day.

As more cities around the country are implemented bikeshare programs, Capital Bikeshare is helping lead the way with best practices. BikeArlington is part of Capital Bikeshare, and the government group recently published a six-year plan for how bikesharing could become a legitimate mode of transportation, and receive funding as such.

Capital Bikeshare charges $7 for 24hr use of a 3-speed bike, or $75 for an annual membership.

"Bikesharing has a better chance of working in a densely populated area," said BikeArlington program manager Chris Eatough. " Bikes are a very efficient way to get around a city, especially for the 1- or 2-mile trips. You need to be in a city where there is already good infrastructure with bike lanes and bicycle friendly streets. Washington, DC and Arlington have been working on that for a few years."