Long-Awaited Capital Bikeshare Expansion Coming This Fall

While there are already more than 3,000 bicycles and 350 Capital Bikeshare stations in DC, Arlington, Alexandria, and Montgomery County, the much-anticipated expansion of the system has been on hold since the main supplier of the bicycles, Public Bike System Co., declared bankruptcy in early 2014. Capital Bikeshare (CaBi), which has been a huge success in the DC area, currently has nearly 30,000 members and has supported more than 10 million trips since its establishment in 2010. Thanks to a new agreement with Motivate, the wait for new bikes and stations will soon be over.

Most of the new CaBi equipment will land in DC, with an addition of 435 bikes and 40 stations now scheduled for the District, according to the Washington Post. Arlington will receive seven stations and 56 bikes, Alexandria will receive four stations and 28 bikes, and Montgomery County will receive seven stations and 58 bikes. The potential expansion of the Capital Bikeshare network to Prince George's County, originally planned for February 2014, is still on hold.

After the failure of SmartBike DC back in 2008 (the first city-wide attempt at bike sharing in the United States), the overwhelming success of Capital Bikeshare is great news. The program continues to increase its membership and number of trips taken. Hopefully, the new partnership with Motivate, the company also that operates New York's Citi Bike, Chicago's Divvy, and San Francisco's Bay Area Bike Share, will allow CaBi to continue to add the necessary equipment to meet this growing demand.

Kim Lucas, District Department of Transportation bicycle program specialist, stated that "there is a lot of unmet demand out there," but fortunately, it now looks like there is a viable, long term solution in place to keep Capital Bikeshare rolling.