In one of those news stories that are picked up by every single news outlet, Capital Bikeshare had a presser yesterday down by City Hall with the Mayor, several Council Members and a new bikeshare station. The big news items were that they CaBi
- has installed a new station at 14th and D Streets NW that day
- is installing five more at old SmartBike locations. The new stations will be located at: 17th and K streets NW (Farragut Square), 12th and G Streets NW (Metro Center), 4th and D Streets NW (Judiciary Square); 8th and F Streets NW (National Portrait Gallery); and near the Foggy Bottom Metro Station.
- has installed 24 bike docks to existing Capital Bikeshare stations
- will be installing 25 stations this year in DC and more (up to 25) in Arlington. DDOT is in the process of selecting locations for the additional stations, and a list of the proposed sites is now posted on the DDOT website at ddot.dc.gov/capitalbikeshare. District residents and cyclists will have an opportunity to get more information and provide feedback on the proposed locations at a public meeting on May 25. The meeting will be held from 6-8 pm in room 1107 at 441 4th Street NW.
In addition we learned that DC has the highest member to bike ratio (is that good?) in the world, and has already met their 2011 goal of 10,000 members with 10,700 already. We Love DC wonders if some people might be CaBi members in the same way that my wife is a netflix member (she watches about 4 movies a year).
What isn't answered yet is what will happen to SmartBike. Ostensibly, the SmartBike stations are being replaced because DDOT reached an agreement with Clear Channel. So what will happen to the 100 bikes from SmartBike? And does this mean they have a deal on how to end Clear Channels bike sharing obligation as well as advertising on CaBi kiosks? Am I really getting too wonky for my own good?
Also not answered, does Mayor Gray know how to ride a bike? Apparently he wouldn't ride one yesterday. If not, he's a goner when the zombie apocalypse comes.
GGW, like DDOT, wants to know where you'd like to see a new station - and they've taken the time to list them out which complements the map well. Top of my list is Washington National Airport - sadly, that is not an option.
Taking a different angle on it is Tim Persinko at NBC who's worried about the lack of helmets.
"In terms of distributing helmets on the street or through a machine,” Jim Sebastian, one of DDOT’s bike program planners said last year at the time of the launch, “No one's been able to work that out."
Which Persinko follows up by pointing out that the Melbourne system (which also uses Alta/Bixi) does have bike helmets for sale for $5(AUD) (which to be fair is $5.33 in US dollars. So is everyone going to carry 33 cents around with them?). They're heavily subsidized and can be returned for $3, after which they are cleaned and resold.
Persinko adds "But, wearing a helmet is undeniably a good thing for rider's heads" and then incorrectly cites a New England Journal of Medicine published study from 1989 that was has been shown to be inaccurate by a later study done by the same researchers. So, for those of you who deny it...stop, it's undeniable.
But let's not end with a helmet fight.
Lydia DePillis adds to all of this with some CaBi use and membership data.
She has one spreadsheet showing membership by zipcode (1317 members from 20009, but only one from Anchorage, AK) which I expect to see turned into a cool map by the time I wake up tomorrow. I envision a US maps, with CaBi keys at each represented zip code and sized by the number of members.
The other spreadsheet shows the trip origin per station (DuPont Circle is the busiest with 12885 and the Foggy Bottom Metro has 3 - but that must be from when it was still SmartBike, right? The nannie Helen Burroughs station only has 9, but it is out of commission due, I think, to construction).
Anyway, here's some video coverage.