Washington D.C. is now the only city in the USA to offer a bike-sharing program. For an annual fee of $40, anyone 18 or older can gain access to 120 bicycles located in ten different locations across the city. The bicycles can be checked out in three-hour increments using the card issued to plan participants.
The bicycles are rugged-looking three-speeds with fenders, bells and a chain cover that provides good protection. They have integrated front racks which look as though they could carry a large briefcase or a small suitcase.
Compared to Paris, which has 20,000 bicycles available through its own bike-sharing program, D.C.'s pilot program seems modest, but such programs must start somewhere. Cycloculture will be watching this effort carefully. Will it be the start of a new trend? Or will the shared bicycles disappear over the first few weeks? Bicycle advocates across the nation will be keeping our fingers crossed.
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