Today I had a chance to test out the Capital Bikeshare. It’s a project funded by Arlington County and DC to build a better bicycle sharing system than what DC built 2 years ago (Smart Bike). Right now they have more than 100 stations and 1000+ bikes.
The system has three memberships. Daily, Monthly and yearly, $5, $25, $75 respectively. (Currently they have a discount on yearly membership: $50). Each time you check out a bike the first 30 minutes is free, then they start charging per usage.
The system is designed and priced to go from one point to the other and not to rent a bike per day. It’s a great commuting option for those who live in DC Metro area.
My test today was the daily membership. I paid $5 and got the bike from behind the Pentagon City mall (Pentagon Row). I rode it to the station at 18th and M st NW. Since I work close by it was the best option for me. It took me a little over 20 minutes.
The bicycles are cute and look like typical city bikes. They have tall and thick wheels, 3 gears on the right, a bell on the left handle. They also have a rack on the handlebar to carry some small bag or jacket, etc..
Renting them is easy. If you got one day membership, you swipe your card and it asks you your phone number and your zip code. Then it gives you a number that you punch on the left side of any bike you like on the rack. When the light turns green, you pull the bike from the rack and you pedal away. Monthly and annual members use their issued token to do the same thing.
My metro ride during rush hour is $2.45 each way. It means close to $5 per day. The commute with Capital Bikeshare will be around $1.50 and healthier. 🙂 So it’s a win/win situation! Emre approved…
Here is me doing silly videos on my first Bikeshare ride: