(almost) Everybody wants to expand CaBi
Arlington: The first of what will likely be many CaBi expansion in Arlington stories. "Most of them are going into the Columbia Pike and Shirlington areas. We did a lot of public outreach, and that's what people were saying, that's where they wanted to see Bikeshare go next in Arlington," Eatough said...Expanding Capital Bikeshare is also helping local businesses boost sales. At Fresh Bikes in Arlington, more and more new customers are coming in." You can see the video below the bump.
Alexandria wants to expand too, from 8 to 16 stations by fall and into Carlyle and Del Ray. "In the next 10 years, she said, the city hopes to add between 25 and 30 stations throughout the West End and near Arlandria. By 2017 they think membership revenue will cover operating expenses. "Though usage has dipped through the winter months, Marks said ridership has exceeded expectations. Officials originally hoped to see 30 percent of the program’s operating costs recovered during Bikeshare’s inaugural year; projections are surpassing that figure. And with summer around the corner, even more residents and visitors are anticipated to use the ubiquitous red bicycles to get around town."
Meanwhile a letter writer who supports library funding is upset that libraries are being cut while CaBi is being expanded. But she seems confused about what CaBi is (not a business) and how it is funded (not with money available for libraries).
- "Alexandria’s libraries are on the hit list, while at the same time, the Capital Bikeshare program expands to the tune of $600,000 — on top of $360,000 already spent." But spending that money on libraries was not an option as "The pilot program, beginning in Old Town, will be implemented with Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality/Regional Surface Transportation Program (CMAQ/RSTP) grant funds." I'm not sure where the new round of spending comes from, but I suspect Federal Transportation funding as well.
- "Just think, though, with $600,000 you could buy everyone in Alexandria a bike." With 147,000 residents, I'm not sure where you can find $4 bikes. Ironically, with CaBi, you really can buy everyone a bike - if they're willing to share.
- "Additionally, while Alexandria’s libraries are city-owned and operated, Bikeshare is a private, for-profit organization selling its program worldwide." CaBi is owned by the cities that participate in it. It is a non-profit, government run organization.
- "Two large bicycle-friendly cities welcomed Bikeshare but without taxpayers’ dollars:" No but they did give up taxpayer owned land and advertising rights. It ain't free.
- "So if Bikeshare wants to expand in Alexandria, let the parent company, Alta Bicycle Share Inc., use some of its profits and reinvest, which is what corporations are expected to do." Again, Alta doesn't own CaBi.
- "Alexandria’s libraries serve many; Bikeshare is for a few." Actually, the models are almost identical, except that bikeshare charges a nominal fee. But since CaBi is used by tourists and libraries usually aren't. I'm not sure which is for few and which is for many. Still, it's not a fair criticism.
Washington - "The mayor is funding 10 more Capital Bikeshare stations beyond the ones that area already supposed to be going in. In December, DDOT announced 78 locations, of which it had funding for 54 and was going to install those by March. Unfortunately, it's late in installing most of those. That list also identified 24 future locations, so this budget funds 10."
Baltimore, Howard County and Columbia, MD - "The Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) is requesting a total of $922,000 in federal funds for the implementation of a Baltimore City bikeshare program and a feasibility study of a similar program in Howard County....Charm City Bikeshare plans include placing stations in a variety of areas, including low-income neighborhoods near downtown, with initially 425 bicycles at 44 stations....Evans said Baltimore City was seeking approval from MDOT and the State Highway Administration to begin contract talks with the bicycle-sharing company Alta, which operates the very successful and ever-expanding Capital Bikeshare program in Washington, D.C...In Howard County and Columbia, preliminary demand analysis indicates a strong likelihood for success, according to the BRTB" Maybe it will also be Capital Bikeshare?