How the Best Bikeshare in the Country Does Business
The first plan of its kind for bikesharing in the United States has just been published. It is a comprehensive 6-year plan for Capital Bikeshare in Arlington County, Virginia.
It took more than a year to finalize the report because we wanted extensive public input at all stages. This included open forums with regional partners, the business community, all Arlington civic associations, and the general public. Opportunities for public input were plentiful, both online and at in-person forums. The Capital Bikeshare crowdsourcing map was also used.
Listening to the public provided:
- General direction for the program (such as, should we remain focused on the urban core and transit corridors or should we expand more to neighborhoods that are further from the transit spine?)
- General weighting between geographic areas for quantity of bikes and stations needed, and
- Specific direction on exactly where the stations should be placed.
The Transit Development Plan represents a major step towards establishing bikesharing as a legitimate transit mode. The plan will be submitted to the State of Virginia in the same way a local bus service would be submitted. The hope is that bikesharing will be considered for funding through the same channels. Capital Bikeshare is an integrated part of the transportation fabric in the Washington D.C. region, and it should be treated as such.
The plan spells out how people are using Capital Bikeshare in Arlington and the region and also how people will use it over the next six years. Trip quantity, trip type, motivations to ride, expansion plans, revenue, funding needs, life cycle and replacement costs are all outlined.
A must-read for anyone working on bringing bikesharing to their city or municipality – or anyone with local interest in the Capital Bikeshare program – we are excited to have this resource and to all the great years of bikesharing ahead.
Chris Eatough is BikeArlington's program manager.
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- November 27, 2012, 6:41 AM
we are still at a rudimentary stage and the syestm is pretty funny. out here you hire a bike and you are supposed to give it back to the same bike station. the hiring charge is really low and one needs to submit decent identification. the issue is because one has to give it back to same station which in most cases is a pain it insures people are stuck to the route one can't just move out some other exit point. for ex.: one can't change his plan midway, he needs to come back all the way to give back the bike.another problem is that people are scared of the bike getting stolen as we still don't have good parking syestm. a bike getting lost means the biker has to pay for it. if in the same situation the hiring and dropping could have happened across different bike stations chances of theft could have been lesser hence chances of people using the bike would have gone higher.what surprises me of DC syestm is that if they spend so much of money on bikes to be transferred back to the stations. why not do a happy hours deal during non-peak hours which can be area specific.also one can lower the rates of biking after 30mins slot and start charging a small amount for the first 30mins also. if we think 20mins is the average distance people need to cover which automatically becomes free in case of free 30mins ride. why not slash it to 15mins free biking and then charge a little amount for first one hour or so (hypothetical since i have not much idea about the pricing). the idea should be to get a larger base of payed user even at a bit lower cost.