(Washington, DC — David Schultz, WAMU) A new regional bike sharing program launches today. Riders can rent a bicycle for a few hours at several dozen stations in D.C. and Northern Virginia.
Marti Reinfeld is a big BikeShare fan. She can now easily make short trips within the city, instead of having to commute in all the way from home. "I can ride it in a skirt and heels - that's what I'm most excited about - so I don't have to change after work to ride my bike," she says. Ed Neugent says - as he rides one of the red and yellow BikeShare bikes - he'll use the service to get to work meetings. "Sometimes our meetings are held in other buildings and a lot of times we can probably hop on a bike and go to the meeting if we can't get a vehicle to travel. Plus, it's a good form of exercise too," he says.
But both Neugent and Reinfeld already own their own bikes, which begs the question: Does this program encourage people to start biking? Or does it just supplement longtime bikers?
"This is marketed towards anybody who needs to get somewhere," says Gabe Klein, the District's Transportation Director. He says these bikes are a part of the city's transit system, in that they'll fill in the gaps between buses and trains. "You can grab one and just head down the street to the next Metro," Klein says.
The program is limited to just D.C. and Arlington, but Klein says he wants to expand it to elsewhere in Northern Virginia and to suburban Maryland.
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