The Washington Post ran a Local Opinions piece last Saturday (How those red public bikes are changing D.C.) by local blogger and founder of the Greater Greater Washington blog, David Alpert. The article laid out all the great reasons Capital Bikeshare is doing well and should be supported and expanded.
Here's an excerpt:
Building roads or trains is expensive, while growing CaBi (usually pronounced “cabbie”) is one of the cheapest ways we have to quickly improve mobility. Consider this: Simply rebuilding the Gainesville Interstate 66 interchange will cost about 18 times as much as setting up the whole CaBi system.
Paris has 20,000 bicycles at 1,202 stations (vs. our 120) in a space smaller than inside-the-Beltway Washington. We should have that many, too, and could for about the same price as that Gainesville interchange. Not that CaBi has to limit itself to inside the Beltway: Rockville is getting a small set of bikes and stations. College Park wants in, too. Something in Tysons Corner could ease the third rush hour that occurs when office workers drive to nearby restaurants.
A fascinating consequence of CaBi’s success has been more people taking their own bikes. Many people started riding around the District or Arlington with CaBi, then began riding more overall. I’m one of those people. Previously, I used my bike only on occasion, but I now ride it, or CaBi, much more often. Even for those who primarily use personal bicycles, CaBi is handy for one-way trips or quick lunchtime errands.
It's worth reading the whole article, and then run out and get your membership, if you haven't already.
================ (photo by M. V. Jantzen)