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I'm not sure "cost-recovery" is the best metric to be tracking.

Looking at the membership, I'd say arlington has some work to do on annual members (only added 400 FY2012 despite the new stations, that is something like like 10 new members per station.) Daily members (toursist?) increased dramatically from 4228 to 12733.

I'd say the best thing CABI should be doing is finding a way to reduce the $100 hold -- in particular on debit cards. I haven't seen any numbers on credit card fraud/chargebacks, but the combination of CC# + zip code might be enough to deter fraud.

@Charlie

It's really unfortunate that our politicians have become so focused on cutting spending that a public transit program like CaBi has to focus on revenue figures. I'd like to think that, in a better world, revenue would be an afterthought and the primary question on policymakers' minds would be "is the system meeting the needs of the public and, if so, how do we expand the system to keep on doing that?"

Regarding the Arlington membership issue, I wonder if the hills are an issue. I mean, a tourist will probably just ride from Rosslyn or CC or Old Town into the city and be done with it, but does geography discourage potential Arlington riders who don't want to ride up and down the hill every day?

charlie, I didn't know we were discussing the best metric to track. It is a metric that they're tracking and I think it's a good one. Don't you think knowing how much of a subsidy they need is important?

I agree with WashCycle. We are going to lose the argument if we pretend that cost is not relevant. I think we win the argument when we force the detractors to expand their frame of reference, and look at all the costs and benefits of the alternatives. E.g. $x spent on CaBi saved us $7x in road maintenance; $x spent on CaBi brought in $2x tourism revenue.

Re MM: True, CB annual membership for Arlington only saw a small bump, while casual membership essentially doubled. BUT the number of rides almost tripled.
I think a lot of Arlington residents jumped in early and signed up the first year when most of the stations were around Crystal City. Their usage options were pretty limited in year one, but with the expansion through the RB corridor in year 2, their bikeshare options increased and they rode much more.
This would explain why the number of trips in Arlington tripled even though casual membership purchases only doubled.

Cost recovery make sense to measure when you're trying to understand the marginal cost of a ride and create a fare.

With CABI, there isn't a fare for members. No sense in measuring the cost recovery there.

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