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That's great -- looks a lot more sturdy with the clear plastic edging. I'm on my 3rd set.

Do the DC docks not have a card slot? NYC ran out of keys and I believe they issue things that resemble credit card, but you can use them on the dock, no need to go to the kiosk.

No card slot (or if there is one I've missed it).

Maybe the newest docks in Maryland have them?

No Capital Bikeshare docks have card slots.

Am I the only person who finds the "key" to be so 1990s? Why don't they have a smart phone app that generates a Q-Code that can be scanned, or a unique numeric code that can be entered. That way a person can sign up for a short term or permanent account.

One of the main reason I've not signed up for an account full time is the delay in getting the key and the fact that you need to carry it with you. I frequently do not carry my key chain with me.

Here's my open letter to Capital Bike Share that I wrote a while ago: http://patch.com/maryland/takomapark/open-letter-to-capital-bikeshare

The Edge, I can think of several reasons.

1. Not everyone has a smart phone. If a smart phone system is to be in addition to keys, then that is added cost.

2. The stations have strict power limitations since they rely on solar + batteries. I suspect a QR reader uses more juice than a sensor that is only activated when a key is inserted.

3. A key makes it much harder to share ones membership. Yes this is against the rules, but it almost surely happens. A key limits it though, since to borrow someone else's membership I have to go get the key, but under a smartphone based system, I just need to know their log in info. Starbucks doesn't care as much if you share a membership, since they get paid either way - they're not all you can eat the way that CaBi is.

So, no, I don't find the keys to be so 1990's. If it featured the Divinyls on each key, or made that dial-up noise, it would seem 90's. But since no one I know of is using Q codes for bike sharing, CaBi does not seem to be behind the times.

It takes a few days to get a key, but if you'd ordered one back in March, you'd have it already. Get one of these, put your phone and your key in it. Problem solved.

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