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View Full Version : A brief history of Capital Bikeshare



PotomacCyclist
01-07-2013, 10:03 AM
Interesting article from Slate

"The Best Bike-Sharing Program in the United States"

http://www.slate.com/articles/life/doers/2013/01/capital_bikeshare_how_paul_demaio_gabe_klein_adria n_fenty_and_other_dc_leaders.single.html

Jason B
01-08-2013, 04:25 AM
Pretty interesting, never knew that's how it started.
I have never ridden one, but one of these days Ill do a family ride on one.

PotomacCyclist
01-08-2013, 05:57 AM
A somewhat different perspective here:

http://www.thewashcycle.com/2013/01/how-dc-got-the-nations-best-bikesharing-program.html#comments

I don't have any inside knowledge, so I don't know who's right.

Tim Kelley
01-08-2013, 07:17 AM
A somewhat different perspective here:

http://www.thewashcycle.com/2013/01/how-dc-got-the-nations-best-bikesharing-program.html#comments

I don't have any inside knowledge, so I don't know who's right.

Neither one gets it completely right. Paul D. had been with Arlington for many years before helping to site stations. He was one of the original BikeArlington crew.

I don't think that the Slate article puts enough emphasis on the fact that Arlington was moving ahead with a system and DC jumped on board to make it regional and replace SmartBike.

Tim Kelley
01-08-2013, 07:18 AM
Pretty interesting, never knew that's how it started.
I have never ridden one, but one of these days Ill do a family ride on one.

I still think your Air Force ride is a good idea....

PotomacCyclist
01-08-2013, 05:46 PM
Neither one gets it completely right. Paul D. had been with Arlington for many years before helping to site stations. He was one of the original BikeArlington crew.

I don't think that the Slate article puts enough emphasis on the fact that Arlington was moving ahead with a system and DC jumped on board to make it regional and replace SmartBike.

Yeah, I thought that CaBi was originally an Arlington idea and D.C. signed on afterward as the two agreed to create a region-wide system. But The Washcycle often notes that the "noble failure" of SmartBike helped to spur on Arlington's bikeshare plans. He doesn't think the article gives enough credit to SmartBike as a pioneering experiment. I saw a couple of the old SmartBike stations and understood why SB never worked. But I also recognize how it might have prepped the way for CaBi.

In any case, I'm very glad that everything worked out the way it has. And I'm even more glad that CaBi is leading the way for cities across the U.S. to start up bikeshare systems of their own. More successful bikeshare networks mean more satisfied users, healthier people and broader support for federal funding of bike and pedestrian infrastructure. A virtuous cycle that helps bike enthusiasts, bike commuters, environmentalists and those concerned about the overall health (and rapidly increasing healthcare expenditures) of the U.S.

I'm looking forward to the D.C., Arlington and Maryland expansions this year.

PotomacCyclist
01-08-2013, 05:48 PM
I still think your Air Force ride is a good idea....

We've already seen people ride CaBi at the Diamond Derby indoor cyclocross races and in the Nation's Triathlon. Two laps in the Crystal Ride wouldn't be that bad, although I don't see anyone reaching 7 laps within the time limit on CaBi. That would be quite a feat if someone did that.

vvill
01-08-2013, 07:43 PM
I wonder what the gear inches are on the CaBis.

Jason B
01-09-2013, 05:03 AM
I still think your Air Force ride is a good idea....

Yea, I'll re-post it when we get closer. It would be pretty cool.

PotomacCyclist
01-09-2013, 06:30 PM
Greater Greater Washington names many of the other people who helped to get CaBi started:

http://greatergreaterwashington.org/post/17306/many-unsung-heroes-made-capital-bikeshare-a-reality/