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Yeah.... just dont put CABI on Columbia Pike. No no no. Tons of bicycle riders there - but they dont fit CABI's Ballston-Rosslyn corridor demographic requirements.


"his is the kind of thing government and charities do, not businesses."

but didn't the article say Decobike in Miami is for-profit?

It mentions Decobike, but I don't know what they're doing. And really, it is subsidized. IIRC, they don't have to pay for use of public space.

Uh, Columbia Pike is getting CaBi stations in just a few months. Maybe as early as April. Shirlington will also get bike stations.

Visit the BikeArlington site for more info. Before complaining about not having bike stations, you should look at the near-term plans.

In addition, CaBi started out in Crystal City and Pentagon City. Rosslyn-Ballston had to wait for a later round of expansion before getting bike stations. And now Columbia Pike and Shirlington are joining the system soon.

This map shows the likely locations of the new Arlington stations, although exact locations haven't been finalized. There are also a couple extra spots marked on the map. But almost all of the spots marked with purple tags in Arlington will be getting bike stations this spring.


One final note: BikeArlington and CaBi have frequently sought community input in helping to determine where to add new stations in Arlington, as well as in D.C., Alexandria and Maryland.

Many people asked for stations near Columbia Pike, and BikeArlington/CaBi is responding by adding stations there. Get involved with the process instead of complaining about it. BikeArlington and CaBi have been very active in engaging the community about the operation and expansion of the network.

They have issued surveys, emails, blog posts and forum posts asking for thoughts and opinions about where CaBi should expand. They asked whether they should concentrate on new neighborhoods or focus on existing coverage areas, or work on both.

"One final note: BikeArlington and CaBi have frequently sought community input in helping to determine where to add new stations in Arlington, as well as in D.C., Alexandria and Maryland."

Which is nice, but one of the reasons underrepresented groups are underrepresented is that they tend to get less involved as communities in many parts of the political process, and especially these sort of things. (And even when they do, may have other priorities than bikesharing).

(when *is* Capital Bikeshare coming to Maryland, btw? Alexandria came to the party later and got to the finish line earlier. And are there *any* plans, even just the idle thought bouncing through someone's head to bring it to Prince George's)?

Except for tourist I can't see how anyone finds Bike share practical. I live in Adams Morgan yet in the time it takes to walk from my house to a bike share station I can ride my bike downtown.

There has been plenty of input from people who live in or visit the Columbia Pike and Shirlington areas. The fact that CaBi didn't start there has nothing to do with "underrepresented" groups failing to participate in surveys.

CaBi started in Crystal City for one reason -- the Crystal City Business Improvement District put up the money to site the first stations there. The BID obviously wouldn't put up money so that CaBi could start on Columbia Pike.

In addition, CaBi recognized that the first stations in Arlington and D.C. would need to connect to areas covered by Metro, to help facilitate usage and grow the subscriber base before expanding to other areas. This is why CaBi expanded to the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor next.

But they clearly never intended to ignore entire groups or areas, thus the new expansion to Columbia Pike and Shirlington, and maybe Lee Highway. They probably won't expand to much of North Arlington because those areas are largely residential. There wouldn't be as much of a demand for CaBi there. You can see evidence of this on various surveys and the crowdsourcing map.

Yes, there are plans to move to Montgomery County AND Prince George's County. The Bethesda, Friendship Heights, Medical Center, Silver Spring and Takoma Park stations could open by this spring or summer.

There will also be stations in College Park. I think those are scheduled to be added this year, but I don't remember the exact time frame.

There are also plans to add stations in Forest Glen and (I think) Wheaton. But those plans haven't been finalized. No word on when those stations will be coming.

Prince George's has been studying bikeshare, but I don't know if they want to add stations anywhere else besides College Park. The bike trail network is pretty poor in the areas bordering SE D.C. And the existing stations in SE D.C. have seen relatively little use, perhaps because of the terrain but also the lack of bike trails and the longer distances between stations.

Some have suggested that National Harbor add CaBi stations. Members could ride across the Wilson Bridge from Old Town Alexandria. But no word yet from National Harbor about whether they intend to join CaBi. They haven't always been the most bike-friendly of places. Maybe they don't want to encourage cycling there, but I think it would be a good addition. Metro doesn't extend to the location. The water taxi is nice but maybe too expensive for regular trips. Car travel is only possible from the north side.

Bikeshare is practical for many local residents, although not for every person. It depends on how close you are to a station. Even for those who live farther from a station, they can still use the bikes for trips during the day, perhaps on lunch breaks, or for the "last mile" from a Metro station to another destination.

For many locals, the bikes are useful for commuting and for errands. It's perfect for one-way trips. You can ride in the morning and then take Metro in the evening if it's too dark or it's raining. (True, there are problems with dock-blocking. Hopefully some of those problems will be eased with the next wave of expansion, which could start as soon as next week.)

I have two bikes of my own, and yet I still use CaBi frequently. For short errands, I prefer to use CaBi instead of having to lock up my own bike outside. Or if I go to a happy hour, I don't have to worry about riding back late at night or after having had a couple beers. I also use CaBi to commute on occasion, although the dock-blocking issue can be inconvenient at times.

Besides all of that, many locals also visit the tourist destinations in the area too. We can ride over to the Lincoln Memorial, the MLK Memorial or the Jefferson Memorial without having to worry about locking up our own bikes. And none of those memorials are close to Metro stations.

"Prince George's has been studying bikeshare, but I don't know if they want to add stations anywhere else besides College Park."

So much for underrepresented groups, I guess.

I use CaBi when I need to go somewher and am unsure of the security for locking my bike.

Sure, when they sell their product, but google "starbucks low income" and you find several ways the company is working that angle on the hiring, buying and charity side.

So you're insisting on the "underrepresented groups" over and over again. CaBi has gone out of its way to install stations in Anacostia even though those stations are rarely used. They are adding more in the coming weeks.

Prince George's County gov't has been studying bikeshare. But it's the County's "fault" that they haven't moved more quickly. There's only so much that CaBi can do. They can't go into Prince George's without a formal agreement with the County.

In the meantime, life has to go on. And so does CaBi. Just because Prince George's isn't moving faster, CaBi should just stop its expansion plans completely. Uh, no.

By the same argument, you can also argue that North Arlington (north of the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor) is "underrepresented". So is Falls Church. Neither of those areas have bike stations.

Rockville had a plan to add stations for the specific reason to assist low-income and homeless people with transportation needs in that area. (I believe that mini-network is funded, but there has been a delay in deployment. That could be the result of the supply issues that have also hampered CaBi expansion in D.C. D.C. was supposed to add the new stations by the end of 2012. But now they aren't even starting until Jan. 2013.)

And it's a feeble complaint about "underrepresented groups" not having a say. For example, with the crowdsourcing map, it only takes one person to add suggested locations. Are you honestly arguing that not a single person in Prince George's County has Internet access?

I certainly never said anything about stopping expansion. Expanding to Shirlington and the Pike (and the Del Ray and Potomac Yards) would be of great benefit to me personally.

But the post wasn't about what's good for me, *the post* was about how to reach underrepresented groups. If you don't think we can, just say so. Frankly, I don't think we can either, not at this stage of the development of the infrastructure.

Though it's also problematic to say 'let's spend more tax money on fairly well off and/or upwardly mobile people (like me)' - which also benefits a for-profit corporation (which has lately been falling down on its end of the bargain in the supply chain) - so I've always had that problem with CaBi

Thanks for the good discussion guys. Darren's article on GGW and his report are very well done. I wanted to make the point that there isn't such an entity as "CaBi." Capital Bikeshare is owned by the local governments (DC, Arlington and Alexnadria at this point) and is operated under contract to these jurisdictions by Alta Bicycleshare. All planning and marketing are done by the local governments. This is just how our local ART and DC Circulator bus systems are operated. I wanted to make the distinction because "CaBi" can't do anything in Prince George's County. Only Prince George's County can.
Also for the record, we appreciate Darren's work because we consider CaBi part of our local transit system. As a local government we want to take into account issues of equity in our operations of the system. And so we are addressing these issues.
Chris Hamilton
Commuter Services Bureau Chief
Arlington County DOT

I also meant to add that all proceeds generated from memberships and fees go therefore, to the local jurisdictions, not the private company that operates our bikeshare system. See this report for more info: http://www.bikearlington.com/pages/news-events/blog/capital-bikeshares-2nd-year-in-arlington/
Thanks again,

Thanks for the clarification.

To continue on with the "underrepresented groups" issue, there have been other programs to get more people signing on as members, including a program that is intended to help people without traditional credit cards to use the system. I don't think many people are taking advantage of it right now, but that program and the other initiatives I mentioned show that the local jurisdictions are making serious efforts to be inclusive.

But if you're so concerned about supposed unequal use, what about highways and MetroRail? Those are used by people who own cars (primarily middle to upper class) and, for the most part, by commuters and tourists.

The local jurisdictions are making substantial good-faith efforts to be inclusive. Local groups like WABA encourage more demographic groups to start cycling, whether on their own bikes or on bikeshare. I'm satisfied that there have been good efforts to be inclusive, and that there continue to be efforts to support cycling in areas where cycling is not that popular today.

But going back to Prince George's, a big stumbling block is the lack of bike infrastructure. There are deficiencies elsewhere too, but on forums like the WashingtonAreaBikeForum, I read over and over again (from experienced local bike commuters) that there aren't many good bike routes between Prince George's County and SE D.C. The County gov't has asked for input through various outlets. On the crowdsourcing map, demand for bike stations on the Prince George's/D.C. border is relatively low, even though it's a simple matter for anyone to add suggested locations to the map. It's free and it takes minimal time to add markers on the online map.

The ball is in Prince George's court, along with any assistance from Maryland state agencies and federal agencies.

I just don't understand the resentment over the CaBi program for economic inequalities. There are indirect benefits even for non-members. CaBi riders help to reduce car traffic, MetroRail traffic and Metrobus traffic, making those transportation modes a little more efficient.

Do they transfer the majority of the people from cars and Metro? Of course not. But the financial expenditures on CaBi are miniscule compared to the massive expenditures on highways, roads and Metro. CaBi has proven to be a very efficient transportation expenditure. It doesn't break even regionwide, but no form of transportation breaks even.

(I know that bikes use the roads too, but it's trucks and cars that do all the damage to the roads, which requires massive spending on maintenance.)

The CaBi program doesn't create economic inequality. It doesn't exacerbate it either. I find it interesting that some criticize it for benefiting only affluent residents (which is not true) while others actually criticize it as part of the overall bike culture, which is somehow "Third World" (which is also not true). I guess if many people enjoy it and it's getting criticized on both ends (for serving most the rich or for serving mostly the poor), then maybe it just shows they are doing something right.

Is it perfect? No, but very few things in life are. It certainly is a worthwhile and effective program. That's why I think it deserves support along with CONSTRUCTIVE criticism. Uninformed complaints about BikeArlington ignoring Columbia Pike in perpetuity and D.C. and Arlington somehow locking out Prince George's just come across as whining. There are valid complaints about dock-blocking, but I haven't seen much discussion of that on this "thread".

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