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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