The largest bikesharing program in the U.S. plans to expand its D.C. service by 36 stations this year, but still is unsure if the Foggy Bottom Metro will get new bikes.
John Lisle, a spokesperson for District Department of Transportation, said the agency is still evaluating if the current Foggy Bottom Metro Smartbike D.C. station will become a Capital Bikeshare station.
“We are concerned that the station is not long enough, we prefer something with more room for bikes,” Lisle said.
The current average dock size for stations is about 15, but the Foggy Bottom Metro Smartbike D.C. station only holds nine bikes.
Capital Bikeshare replaced the previous bike-sharing program in the District, SmartBike D.C.
The District Department of Transportation is set to install 20 more stations in D.C., and Arlington’s DOT secured funding for 16 additional stations. The 36 new stations will bring the total number of Bikeshare stations to 150.
“I really don’t think we can add stations fast enough to match the demand and incredible enthusiasm for Capital Bikeshare,” Gabe Klein, director of the District Department of Transportation said.
More than 5,000 members are now registered with Capital Bikeshare and more than 1,100 bikes are spread across the District and Arlington at 114 locations.
DDOT recently reported on its website an 82 percent increase in rush-hour bicycle trips over the last three years. The bikeshare program is now expanding by about a third of its original size in under a year of operation.
Only two years since SmartBike D.C. began, all stations have been closed, and in most cases will be replaced by Capital Bikeshare stations.
Lisle said the funding for the new stations comes from the U.S. DOT’s Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality program, and a 20 percent local contribution.
The planning process for selected locations will begin in the spring, and construction of the stations could begin as early as May. The criteria for selecting new bikeshare stations include population, employment and commuter density, as well as bike-to-work rate, retail, and distance from an existing station.
Current membership prices are set for $75 for a year. The program is designed for quick commutes between neighborhoods, with the first 30 minutes of every bike ride being free. After that, the next half hour will cost a member $1.50, the third half-hour $3, and for every 30 minute interval after that $6.
Each morning every Capital Bikeshare station begins with around 10 bikes and five empty docks for bikes.
There are currently two stations on campus – one on 21st and Pennsylvania Avenue and the other on 19th and E Street.