DC to Launch Self-Service Public Bike Rental ProgramWashington DC

DC to Launch Self-Service Public Bike Rental ProgramWashington DC

Colleen Quinn
Jul 8, 2008

Some readers may already have noticed bike racks for SmartBike DC popping up at downtown Metro stations. America's first self-service public bike rental program will begin with 100 bikes at 10 stations in DC, but will look to expand based on ridership...

Originally scheduled to open in the early spring, the SmartBike DC program is now scheduled to launch on August 1st. For a $40 annual subscription, participants will receive a magnetic card that can be swiped at any of the 10 rental locations. Riders can rent bikes for up to three hours at a time from 6am to 10pm seven days a week. The SmartBike DC program will be operated by Clear Channel Outdoor which runs similar programs in several European capitals.

Lots of folks are upset that the program is confined to limited locations in NW and that bikes cannot be rented after 10pm making it less useful for people looking for a late-night alternative to cabs or the metro. Even so, we are excited to see DC taking the lead in attempting to reduce vehicle traffic; other cities in the US are tracking the program with an eye toward future installations. Have any AT readers signed up for SmartBike DC?

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