It’s Earth Day this week and in honor of the occasion, D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray and the District Department of Transportation opened the newest Capital Bikeshare station.
It's located outside the Wilson building, where officials are hoping workers downtown will trade in their cars for bikes. The program costs $75 a year or $25 a month.
Further expansions are coming this summer. Twenty-five new stations and 250 new bikes are planned at downtown Metro stations as well as further westward into Arlington near the Courthouse station.
Biking the streets of D.C. can be intimidating. “There are roads here that I'd be nervous about, but if you saw more bikers on the road you'd feel safer on a bike,” said Frank So, a federal worker. “The more drivers will be accustomed to working with them to make the roads safer,” said Daniel Hoagland of the Washington area bicyclist association. The association is offering classes for adults to learn biking.
Capital Bikeshare has nearly 11,000 members. With summer weather approaching and gas prices at $4 a gallon, organizers are expecting to expand ridership.
“I know just cutting out a few trips a week in your car can save a significant amount of money. And for $75 dollars a year that's one, maybe two tanks of gas (but) you can have all the bike riding you can do,” said Anna McLaughlin of DDOT. DDOT also says more locals want to carpool, submitting ride-matching applications to the region's commuter connection website.