Happy Birthday to Capital Bikeshare, the ubiquitous red bike that's becoming so emblamatic of DC, that it was used in an episode of NCIS.
The program has continued to grow in every measureable way. Despite fears that membership would drop once the Living Social members had to renew, long term membershiup is up nearly 40% from 18,000 last year to more than 18,000 today. Members took 183,000 trips (nearly double last year's total) and travelled more than 2 million miles (compared to 1 million last year). The program should hit it's 3 millionth trip soon. (Update: Many of these numbers were wrong, thanks to a spreadsheet error but I've fixed them)
CaBi continues to do well financially too. Last spring they reported that they were making enough money to cover their operating expenses and were almost "operationally profitable." It's likely that by now they have, in fact, turned a profit on operations. And that's without tapping a very lucrative revenue stream - advertising. But DC, at least, has issued an invitation for bids to place ads on their stations, and that could bring in millions of additional dollars. Having sold nearly 200,000 daily memberships and 18,000 annual memberships that means total revenue of $2.75 million just on memberships alone, compared to $1.5 million last year. And if overage fees are comparable to last year, that would add another $1.5 million to the total. If not there yet, the system is on the cusp of total self-sufficiency. Not that subsidizing it is bad.
Much of the growth in revenue and membership is probably related to the growth of the system. They've added 700+ bikes and 74 stations over the last year, expanding to Alexandria, the National Mall (despite concerns that it would "destroy the nature of what makes the National Mall an American institution") and along the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor. 26 other stations were expanded. The system didn't expand quite as fast as maybe some people projected last year, in part because of TIGER grants that weren't won, but much of what was planned then is still being worked. Arlington is planning to expand the system to Arlington Cemetery, the Pentagon, Shirlington and Columbia Pike, and Montgomery County is planning to add 48 stations in the county in addition the Rockville stations that are a little behind schedule. Prince George's County got a grant from Maryland to study CaBi and even Fairfax might get in on the program.
With increased revenue from advertising, a good flow of state and local investment (and maybe a TIGER grant win finally) there is still a lot of room for Capital Bikeshare to grow, and with it the region becomes cleaner, less congested, healthier and safer. Pretty good for broken down socialism.