Now, only because it is a slow news day, I will poke some holes in this awful article by Charles Hurt that I can only assume is an attempt to be funny. I thought the last Washington Times article was the worst possible opinion piece on Capital Bikeshare ever, but Hurt has somehow topped it.
First off, he calls Capital Bikeshare "broken-down socialism." Now I was taught that socialism involves government owning the "commanding heights" of the economy. I'm not sure that CaBi qualifies as the commanding heights. Nor is a system that is moving over 6000 people a day at almost no operating cost "broken-down." But, unless you're against free public schools and free sidewalks, we're all socialists now.
Then come some factual errors:
CaBi stations are not loud.
The frames are called step-through frames.
Priuses have not been catching fire, those were electric cars and only when crashed and left to sit for weeks.
Finally he gets into the "problems"
The most obvious one is that you can check out a bike and pedal yourself anywhere your heart desires — so long as it happens to have a docking station for your bike.
Neither true, because one is free to bring their own lock, nor relevant. You can't drive to Hawaii either, but that isn't a "problem" with cars. It's just a fact. But several thousands of people are finding trips for which CaBi is useful every day, so many in fact that....
If your destination just so happens to have a handy-dandy bike-docking station, you better get there early or hope that not everybody is going in the same direction at the same time.
Let me see if I can recap so far: His points are that there are only so many places you can use CaBi which makes it undesirable and that everyone is using it so much that you probably won't be able to use it anyway. No disconnect there.
Since he's a lover of the free market perhaps he would like to explain why membership keeps going up in the face of these "problems"?
Then he finishes up by pointing out that after 18 months there was a crime committed using a CaBi bike:
My personal pride in the program reached a new level last week after reading about a woman in my neighborhood who was talking on her cellular phone. A thug rode by on a bike, slapped her and swiped her phone.