Capital Bikeshare celebrates 3rd anniversary of launch

Photo: ABC7

WASHINGTON (WJLA) -- District resident Susan Prolman says Capital Bikeshare is the only way to travel for her. She uses the program every day to get from her Dupont home to work downtown.

“I think it's an efficient way to get people around without using fossil fuels and clogging the streets with yet more cars," she says.

The program that allows you to rent a bike from stations located on street corners, then ride to a second location across town and drop it off is celebrating three years in operation.

The concept is simple: Rent a bike for $7 a day, or become a member for a year for $75 and ride as many times as you want for 30 minutes a trip at no extra cost.

Users swear by it.

"I won't even take the metro of bus anymore -- I don't have time for that," says Leah Walker. "I only take the bikes."

Capital Bikeshare D.C. is run by the government, and just marked trip number 5,00,000 last month. The program has 22,000 members, 2,000 bikes on the streets, and programs operating in both Alexandria and Arlington.

The District itself owns all the infrastructure within its jurisdiction, so it's understandable that it takes a small army to keep it all rolling.

Tucked away in a warehouse in Southwest, mechanics are hard at work all day tuning up, gearing up, and fixing up their the rademark red bicycles.

"Right now, we are seeing upwards of 10,000 rides a day, and the bikes need a lot of attention," explains Director Eric Gilliland.

"And Capital Bikeshare is getting ready for a big expansion -- mechanics are getting ready a couple hundred more bikes as the program spreads to Montgomery County next week," he adds. "There will eventually be 150 more stations across Montgomery County."

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