View Full Version : Downtown CaBi bike corrals

04-08-2015, 03:54 PM
Capital Bikeshare had previously mentioned that bike corrals would be starting this year on a regular basis at key high-demand areas in downtown DC.

Last week, they posted a brief update on the plan:

"With all of these variables to consider, rebalancing is a difficult proposition for both drivers and dispatchers alike. Fortunately, there are some developments in the works that will make a difference for the rebalancing team and our members. The operations staff is working on permits that will allow them to operate daily bike corrals in a couple of key downtown areas, mitigating some of the need for open docks to those nearby. To serve these corrals, TC and his staff are expecting to receive a new, larger truck that will help clear the corrals and quickly move a lot of bikes to residential areas where members are waiting for them. Look for an announcement about this new service in the coming months."


This could be the next game changer for CaBi (along with the start-up of CaBi and bike stations on the National Mall). Capital Bikeshare has been great for the DC/Arlington region. But one of the ongoing problems is how quickly downtown stations fill up on weekday mornings, and how quickly they empty out on weekday evenings. The proposed daily bike corrals could have a huge benefit for regular CaBi users. Many members use the bikes to commute to downtown DC, whether or not that was originally intended to be the primary use of the bikeshare system. (Tourist rentals from stations along the National Mall are another big driver of the bikeshare system.) Almost all of those downtown stations fill up quickly on weekday mornings. The rebalancing vans can't get through the car traffic rapidly enough to handle the demand for empty docks.

DC has already indicated that they will add stations and expand existing stations this year. Some of those new stations/docks may be located in downtown DC. Add the new bike corrals and the problem of full/empty stations could be eased quite a bit. (It may not disappear completely, but it should be better than it was before.)

Metro Center, Franklin Square and Farragut Square are places that could use bike corrals. Plenty of demand there, with all of the office buildings in those areas.

04-08-2015, 05:33 PM
I would also add the Cabi Stations on 20th & L and 21st & M in NW DC where this is a daily challenge too. The park at the intersection of M, 21st & New Hampshire might serve as a corral, FYI.

04-25-2015, 08:50 PM
Wow that would be fantastic (speaking as someone who got the very last dock near my office in between Farragut and Dupont last week). Another dream: bike corrals at every Nationals game. The infrastructure is already there with the Bike Valet! Surely CaBi and the Nationals could work out an agreement to make this a reality.

04-27-2015, 02:24 PM
The more people that write to Capital Bikeshare (Motivate, the system operator) and the Nationals about CaBi corrals at every Nats game, the more likely they are to consider the idea.

There will be extra costs for staffing the corrals at 81 home games (plus any home playoff games). But they will already have the larger rebalancing vehicle for the downtown corrals. They won't need that van or truck on weekday evenings or on weekends (unless they would use the truck to bring a lot of bikes downtown to resupply the empty stations during the evening rush). It can't hurt to ask.

The Nationals could say that they already have the regular bike corral, but the CaBi corral could be run by CaBi employees, or the costs could be split between the two. The Nats have promoted CaBi bikes. The racing Presidents have used CaBi bikes on a few occasions already. (Now if they could only get the Nats hitters to start hitting....)

04-28-2015, 10:58 AM
Motivate, the operator of Capital Bikeshare, is now looking for part-time "Bike Corral Attendants" among other positions. Might be a good option for a college student who doesn't have any morning classes, or someone who works in the afternoons and evenings and wants a second job.



On the right-hand column, under "Select Position."


Bike Corral Attendant - CaBi

EOE STATEMENT We are an equal employment opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status or any other characteristic protected by law.

CATEGORY Operations

About Motivate International Inc.: Bicycle sharing is a sustainable, healthy, and community-based transport option that enhances urban livability and mobility. Capital Bikeshare currently operates with over 340 stations and 3000 bikes in Washington, DC, the City of Alexandria, VA, Arlington County, VA and Montgomery County, MD.

Through contracts with the Washington DC Department of Transportation (DDOT), the City of Alexandria, VA, Arlington County, VA, & Montgomery County, MD, Motivate is responsible for all “on the ground” aspects of Capital Bikeshare, including but not limited to: station and bike building and deployment, station and bike repair and maintenance, and bicycle redistribution.

Overview of Position: Capital Bikeshare intends to set up temporary staffed bicycle corralling stations in key locations in downtown Washington, DC to help meet the high demand for docking spaces during the morning rush hour. These corrals will be staffed by one to two person teams that will keep the station well balanced and help customers that have questions. Bikes taken from the station will be set aside in a safe location near the station, but out of the way of other transit systems, pedestrians, traffic, parked cars, and any other obstacle that may present itself at any given station. Capital Bikeshare rebalancing teams will use the corral locations as key points to pick up bikes for distribution throughout the system. Locations for the two corrals have not yet been determined, but the hours of operation will be 7:30am to 10:30am, Monday through Friday, during the peak usage months.

Key Aspects of Position:

- Arrive on time to set up bike corral using traffic bollards and caution tape
- Remove bikes from station to ensure members have a place to dock
- Assist rebalancers with loading bikes onto rebalancing vehicles
- Interact with customers regarding questions about the service
- Communicate with dispatch on the number of bikes in the corral
- Report technical station issues, (observed or reported by customers), to dispatch
- Other duties as assigned.

Note: The above description is not intended to be an exhaustive list of all duties, responsibilities, or qualifications associated with the job. All personnel may be required to perform duties outside of their normal responsibilities due to the nature of work performed to accomplish Motivate International’s Mission.

Required Skills and Experience:

- Excellent customer service skills
- Good written and oral communication skills.
- Comfortable in a fast-paced, outdoor environment.
- Dependability – ability to be on time, follow instructions, respond to management direction, and communicate frequently.
- Motivate International Inc. is proud to be an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Motivate International Inc. is a drug-free workplace.

SALARY $14.43 per hour
OPEN DATE 4/24/2015
LOCATION Capital Bike Share

04-28-2015, 11:07 AM
I think this is a reasonable plan, including the part about peak usage months. CaBi usage starts to spike in March and April and remains high through the summer, before dipping in August and then fading by October and November. No need for bike corrals in the late fall and winter months, because the demand for the downtown stations is much lower then. The problem is in the spring, summer and early fall.

The hours are a good choice. I don't think the stations usually fill up before 7:30 am. While I don't ride there that early, I check the CaBi website and look at the station status. The downtown stations usually haven't filled up before 8 am.

They just listed the position last week, so it will take at least a little time to find people and get everything sorted out. There are the permit issues too. I hope that doesn't take too long. Demand for the downtown stations has already picked up this year.

05-11-2015, 12:02 PM
Just announced (http://www.capitalbikeshare.com/news/2015/05/11/announcing-morning-corral-service):

Have you been dreaming of a morning bikeshare ride with the option of unlimited docking in downtown DC?

Well, round up your helmet and Bikeshare fob —beginning Thursday, May 14, we’ll be providing weekday Corral Service at two downtown stations from 7am to 11am at the following locations:

- 21st St & Eye St NW in Foggy Bottom
- 13th St & New York Ave NW near Metro Center & Franklin Square

Corral Service will offer guaranteed open docks in the morning by having staff on hand to remove bikes when the station docks are full. This service is included with your membership, to make your Bikeshare experience more convenient and enjoyable.

We’ll offer Corral Service every weekday morning through the end of September, with the potential for extension depending on demand.

We’re excited to roll out Corral Service on Bike to Work Week. Be sure to join us on Thursday, May 14 for the first day of Corral Service, as we hand out Capital Bikeshare swag at both locations. If your morning ride takes you to the Wild Wild (North) West, come by and say hello!

05-11-2015, 12:05 PM
LOL, you beat me to it.

This will be so awesome. It's incredibly convenient for me. Lately, I have only been biking in the evenings because I don't want to deal with full stations in the morning and riding around looking for an empty dock. Now I won't have to worry about this at all.

If this is what the $10 increase in the annual fee is paying for, I support it, 10,000%.

05-14-2015, 11:39 AM
This is a rebalancing van that I saw at 13th & New York Ave. today, the location of one of the two new regular bike corrals.

CaBi had announced that they had a larger rebalancing van. I don't know if this is the new van. It doesn't appear to be larger than the other vans. Maybe I missed the larger van.


05-14-2015, 01:13 PM
Capital Bikeshare posted this photo of the 13th & New York Ave. bike corral on their Facebook page:


05-16-2015, 12:47 PM

11-18-2015, 09:46 AM
Although the earlier announcements said that the corrals would run through September, Motivate extended them into November.

They announced that the 21st & I NW corral has closed for the winter, as of Mon. Nov. 16.

The 13th & NY Ave NW corral will operate through Fri. Dec. 18. (The corral will not operate on Nov. 26 and 27: Thanksgiving and Black Friday.)

Both corrals will start up again in the spring.


On a side note, I had been so eager for the corrals. I was working close to one of them. But then I moved to a different building. Then I started doing some work from home. So I didn't use the corrals that often this year. But I'm still glad they were added. The more efficiently the overall system runs, the more members CaBi can attract. That also leads to better political support for expansion.

(However, the main problem hasn't been funding for expansion. It's the equipment supplier problems that have slowed down expansion so much. DC, Arlington and Alexandria would have added many more stations by now, if not for the Bixi bankruptcy and current delays with Motivate's new supply chain. CaBi will receive a final shipment of equipment under an old order. My guess is that this is being done because all of Motivate's new bikes and stations are going toward the large-scale expansion in NYC and they don't have enough left over for CaBi at this point.)

12-16-2015, 02:58 PM
Reminder: The CaBi bike corral at 13th & NY Ave NW closes for the winter after this Friday. Both corrals will return in the spring.