31 May 2008
Smart Bikes - Washington, DC
Our nation's capital has led the charge into public bike rentals. I don't say it very often so I'll be sure to say it now - Hurray Washington!
Smart Bike DC offers Velib-style bike rentals throughout the central business district. The geek in me really likes that the docking stations are all networked and submitting status information to the system monitors. Someday perhaps we'll be able to tap into that status information by mobile phone.
An annual subscription will cost $40. There are currently ten locations.
The service is provided by Clear Channel, which created the very first bicycle sharing service in Rennes in 1998. Hopefully these 10 years of experience will help guide this project to success. The site in Rennes does not report statistics across the last 10 years, but they do say that use during the month of January is up 40% this year over last year. America, let's see if we can top that!
Photo at the top from the Washington Area Bicyclist Association featuring Pepco President Thomas Graham with a DC Smart Bike. The land Pepco donated to the city for the Met Branch Trail was valued at $3.3 million!