One nice thing about having bike sharing in the District is that it is both a political center and a media center for the country. As a result, one early user of the system is CNN producer Xuan Thai, who filed this complimentary story about the system.
In the text, CNN says "it's like zipcar, but with bikes." That's not bad, but unlike zipcar, you don't have to bring the bike back to the place you got it from, which is key. So it's actually better than zipcar in some ways.
And not to bury the lead, but Gabe Klein drops this line (in the text only)
"It's like a startup ... we've estimated we can hit break-even in about three years. There aren't really any break-even transit systems," says Klein,
Additionally, the bikes are designed to carry advertising, which eventually will help defray the costs. Klein also points to other benefits that can't be measured in dollars and cents.
"It also fits better into our goals for the city, in that we want a sustainable city, a livable city, with a healthy population. This accomplishes all of those things, and also decreases congestion," says Klein.
As for other criticism
Capital Bike Share is often panned for running out of bicycles at high-use stations or running out of places to dock the bikes.
Also, users must plan ahead to bring a bike helmet -- or run the safety risk of riding without one.
I've had less problems with no bikes/no open docks lately, but I don't use the problem stations that often. This is a solvable problem. As for helmets, meh...