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bikesharing may not break even; but I suspect CABI can. Although it is unclear exactly how the jurisdictions split revenue, between tourists (saw 2 cabi at mt. vernon), day trippers, and sponsorship cabi in DC might very well break even.

But it important to set levels of success. A small system like this would probably get CC levels of usage and membership. Not enough to even look sustainable.

We're going to have 3 nodes off the main network soon, and it will be interesting to see which succeed:

EOTR: clearly a fail
CC: C+
R-B: ???

"But Alexandria Transportation Director Rich Baier says lots of government services don't make a profit."

Not the political climate to bring such a fact to light.

What would really help the Virginia system in my opinion is a station at DCA. Talk about trip generation. You'd think one or two of the airlines could be convinced to pitch in too.

I'd use the station at DCA - I currently metro there when I fly because I don't want to leave my bike at the airport for a weekend or week, for fear of it being impounded and because I have no idea where to park it.

Aargh! Another one-sided article about CaBi in Alexandria! With CaBi being so successful, you would think they could trouble themselves to find a resident who likes CaBi. When the Alexandria Gazette Packet posted a similar article, I sent them this reply: http://www.connectionnewspapers.com/article.asp?article=351020&paper=59&cat=110

What is CC?
EOTR=temporary failure; give it time, people!
@Shawn it's never the political climate to bring such a fact to light but people ought to know this of governmental services...
Also I would LOVE to ride to DCA. I'm currently running there from Dupont, it's nice to be sweaty on the airplane.

"But Alexandria Transportation Director Rich Baier says lots of government services don't make a profit."

Not the political climate to bring such a fact to light.

Disagree completely. At some point, you need to actually stand and make a case for decent government. Our country is slowly being turned into a third-world shit-hole, and there needs to be push-back.

You don't do that by laying down, and curling up into the fetal position.

I'd use a DCA station to get to and from weekend car rentals at the airport. Faster than Metroing from DC (for me, anyway) and free.

Doubtful that there's that many CaBi users flying in/out of DCA with a light luggage load -- but all of you intrepid & sweaty travelers wouldn't have to make a DCA station successful alone.

Several other reasons for a DCA station:

1) airport worker commutes. There are several waves of commuting times to/from DCA each day, so a DCA station should self-balance against the commute better than downtown stations. Should be particularly attractive to workers on weekends b/c of the late Metro opening.

2) Historic Lobby/Exhibit Hall & Abingdon Plantation. These minor airport attractions (actually, the Exhibit Hall often has worthwhile events, like the current "Artomatic Takes Flight") would make a good CaBi destination trip. Currently both are underpromoted and undervisited because of the price of parking and the time/hassle of Metro to the airport on weekends -- biking is easily the best way to get there. A little cross-promotion ("take CaBi to the Airport Exhibit Hall") would likely drive some incremental visits.

3) Daisy-chain station for MVT trips to Alexandria. Obvious, but worth mentioning.

4)Airport concessions/restaurants. The pre-9/11 design of DCA's main hall strands the flagship concessions (Sam & Harry's, the sushi place) and many of the shops outside security, and the travel hassle factor means few visits from non-travellers. A CaBi station would offer a new way for these businesses to appeal to customers. And the quick-service places like Mayorga, Dunkin Donuts, Einstein Bagels, etc. would likely see business from snack stops by daisy-chain users, especially if they/MWAA sponsored/advertised at the CaBi station.

All together, this should make a DCA station pretty successful -- and MWAA ought to consider sponsoring/subsidizing it.

I'd be worried about two way traffic at a DCA stop. Rebalancing could be a pain for Alta.

Having MWAA pay for it would be fun. I remember washcycle posted some stuff on corporate sponsorships a while back. Perhaps the pricepoints points need to change? Imagine if you could buy a dock, but no bikes.

@David F-H ; CC=Crystal City. How much time does EOTR need. A year? Two? Five? Those 8 stations are needed in Dupont now and could be used.

I would give CC a higher rating than C+... but then maybe that's because I live in Dupont and my girlfriend lives in CC, so most of my rides originate or end there.

@DCA station. It could also bolster the CC stations, increasing the density there.

@EOTR I am often a lycra clad cyclist (ironman trithlete). I also understand how important visibility of bikes on the road is. Just having stations there MUST get people thinking about bikes... eventually maybe they'll consider using them as transit. And yes, they are needed in Dupont but I'm willing to share this system I love. So, just leave the stations there and expand elsewhere...

@David F-H; when you look at the data, the majority of CC rides are within their own little pod -- people like you bringing the bikes to/from DC are rare.

This is a day late/dollar short reply to the EOTR thread from a couple of days ago but that was so long ago in internet time that I will sneak it in here. I must admit that this is a west of the river, white middle class POV to boot and I'd be happy to see other perspectives. Is it possible that a part of the reason that people EOTR drive cars and ride public transit as opposed to using bikes & bike sharing is that it is just plain safer? Riding a bike puts a person out in the world in a way that is very liberating and enjoyable to me in my world. I would feel very differently if that world had the threat of small arms fire and confrontations with jobless young men defending their 'turf' on street corners. The suggestions for creating bike routes off of the busy public streets and sidewalks might be moving in the wrong direction for introducing anyone to biking as an alternative to other forms of transit. Are advocates of bike share barking up the wrong tree in pushing bike share and bike riding in areas in which the obstacles are largely unrelated to biking?

Car traffic in Old Town is a total mess. The coffee house vibe of Del Ray is a perfect fit for CaBi. Arlandria is full of lower income folks who would benefit from a flexible, inexpensive transportation alternative. Eisenhower Valley residents could use CaBi to cruise to dinner on King Street. It boggles my mind how Alexandrians could be opposed to CaBi.


I think folks East of the River drive in large numbers, and ride in very few numbers for the same reason that fewer white folks in the Aspen Hill area, or in other traditionally constructed suburbs do: the built environment is much more auto-centric, the infrastructures not there, and the population is largely self-selecting. It's "The Big Sort" on a smaller level.

Oboe: I think its also a matter of culture. I know a few black cyclists, but they are all professionals.


I shouldn't be surprised given the demographics of the area, but it makes me very happy to see the number of black cyclists at Haines Point. But you're right, it seems like black cyclists generally fall at one end of the economic spectrum or the other: either the "black bourgeoisie" (e.g. Fenty) or poor old men on beaters with fishing equipement.

(I assumed by "professionals" you meant white-collar, upper middle-class professionals, not domestic pro cyclists...)

There are lots of professionals living in nice big houses East of the Anacostia River within the District of Columbia, though there are also many poor people.

Though my bias is obvious, I can't help but wonder whether the absence of some really favorable routes between the Prince Georges County line and the Anacostia River bridges is the main problem. We need the South Capitol Street Trail, and full-sized bike lanes on Pennsylvania Avenue and East Capitol Street.

And I am considering moving to Alexandria so that works out perfectly.

I agree with Jim. Out here in Prince George's county lots of people have never even considered riding to DC. They are shocked when I tell them I ride downtown every day (in part because I don't look very athletic!)

The roads we drive on to get to DC are way too intimidating to even consider biking (Route 50, Kenilworth Ave, Route 1, 450, etc. etc.). The inner county area was built up mostly after WWII in the car era. And while some of the trails are wonderful (I love the NE branch trail) people don't know about them -- again, because we can't see them from our cars.

But I meet lots of recreational cyclists on weekends -- BARC and Bowie and also southern PG county have some fabulous road rides. Recreational cycling seems pretty popular throughout the community.

Not lots of commuting yet, though. Getting a better connection from NE branch to the DC trails along the Anacostia river will help a lot, as Jim noted. Also better connections from the central and southern part of the county to DC like washcycle fantansized about yesterday. And a few well-placed on-road cycle tracks would help raise awareness that cycling to work is even possible.

The plans for the Crystal City CaBi system led to the region-wide CaBi network. So "CC" deserves far more than a C+.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that Alexandria goes ahead with its plans to join the CaBi system. Potomac Yards to Old Town is a decent trek on the slow CaBi bikes, but it's manageable within the 30-min. threshold (I think).

Maybe the Potomac Yards organization can be convinced to add another station, maybe near the parking lots for the shopping center. They have already sponsored the southernmost station in Arlington.

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