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Transportation Nation

NYC Starts Placing Bike Share Docks

Monday, April 08, 2013

Signs of the largest bike share program in the United States are starting to appear. New York City has installed the first of 600 bicycle docking stations, which will house 10,000 bikes in much of Manhattan and parts of Brooklyn. The first wave, launching in May, will have about 5,500 bikes and 300 docks.

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Transportation Nation

DC's Capital Bikeshare Expanding by 30 Percent

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

(photo by Kevin Kovaleski/DDOTDC via flickr)

Washington, D.C. will add 513 bikes to Capital Bikeshare this winter, expanding the nation's largest operating bike share program by more than 30 percent.

The move was planned for the fall, but the Capital Bikeshare's operator, Alta, faced a shortage of equipment.
District Department of Transportation spokesman John Lisle told Transportation Nation the 54 new stations will add docking spaces for 1,026 bikes. "You want about 50 percent of your docks on the street filled with bikes. That's kind of the ratio that we aim for," he said.

Lisle said there are 1,645 bikes on the streets now at in 2,524 docks, at 191 stations. Some stations have as many as 30 docks, and during special events, far more.

Balance is crucial to a well-functioning bike share program. So central, in fact, that employees of CaBi who shift bikes from location to location to meet demand are called rebalancers.

The proposed locations for the new stations, which you can view on this map (or see the below list) come in a mix of new neighborhoods and existing bike share neighborhoods. “We need to balance the desire to expand into new areas with the need for more docks and bikes in existing areas, particularly downtown, where demand is heaviest,” said Chris Holben, DDOT Project Manager for Capital Bikeshare, in an emailed statement. “Basically, for every ‘expansion’ station we also need more spaces downtown to keep up with demand.”

Capital Bikeshare has been been struggling to keep up with demand. It's expanded to the Virginia suburbs, and one Maryland county just voted to join. All 54 of the new docks will go inside the District.

Despite the popularity, CaBi loses money, although the program operates close to profitability. DDOT foots the bill, and pays Alta to operate the program. The additions mean DDOT will increase what it pays Alta as operator but could potentially earn more if it means more members sign up. DDOT spokesman John Lisle did not share projections for how the expansion might impact potential profitability.

"We are in the process of selling advertising on the stations, which should help on the revenue side," he said. "Installations most likely will be after the inauguration" on January 21st, Lisle said.

Alta is the same company that operates bike share programs in Chicago, and is contracted to launch programs in New York and Portland. Those programs have also suffered from delays.
 
First Round
 
1
18th Street and Wyoming Avenue NW
2
11th Street and M Street NW
3
14th Street and Clifton Street/ Boys and Girls Club NW
4
15th Street and Euclid Street NW
5
20th Street and Virginia Avenue NW
6
Ellington Bridge, SE corner NW
7
Elm Street and 2nd Street (LeDroit Park) NW
8
New Jersey Avenue and R Street NW
9
Hiatt Place between Park and Irving NW
10
13th Street and U Street NW
11
17th Street and Massachusetts Avenue/JHU NW
12
5th Street and Massachusetts Avenue NW
13
8th Street and D Street NW
14
11th Street and Florida Avenue NW
15
11th Street and K Street NW
16
L'Enfant Plaza at Independence Ave SW
17
11th Street and F Street NW
18
23rd Street and W.H.O. NW
19
Constitution Ave and 21st Street NW
20
34th Street and Water Street NW
21
Connecticut and Nebraska Avenues NW
22
Connecticut Ave and Albemarle St NW
23
O Street and Wisconsin Ave (east) NW
24
Wisconsin Ave and Fessenden St NW
25
Wisconsin Ave and Veazy Street NW
26
14th Street and Upshur Street NW
27
14th Street and Colorado Avenue NW
28
5th Street and Kennedy Street NW
29
Georgia Ave and Decatur Street NW
30
V Street and Rhode Island Ave at Summit Place NE
31
2nd Street and M Street NE
32
Hamlin Street and 7th Street NE
33
12th Street and Irving Street NE
34
Neal Street and Trinidad Avenue NE
35
Rhode Island Ave Metro entrance NE
36
18th Street and Rhode Island Ave NE
37
8th Street and F Street NE
38
Pennsylvania Ave and 3rd Street SE
39
8th Street and East Capitol Street NE
40
15th Street and East Capitol Street NE
41
Independence and Washington/HHS SW
42
Constitution Ave and 2nd St/DOL NW
43
6th Street and Indiana Avenue NW
44
New Jersey Avenue and D Street SE
45
15th St, F St and Tennessee Ave NE
46
9th Street and M Street SE
47
Tingey Street and 3rd Street SE
48
Deanwood Rec Center and Library NE
49
Burroughs Avenue and 49th Street NE
50
Burroughs Ave and Minnesota Ave NE
51
Minnesota/34th Street and Ely Place SE
52
Alabama Avenue and Stanton Road SE
53
MLK, Jr. Ave and Alabama Ave SE
54
MLK, Jr. Ave and Pleasant Street SE
 
Next Round
 
55
MLK, Jr. Ave and St. E's Gate 5 SE
56
14th Street and Fairmont Street NW
57
18th Street and C Street NW
58
L'Enfant Plaza at Banneker Circle SW
59
G Street at MLK Library NW
60
Wisconsin Ave and Ingomar Street NW
61
Brandywine St and Wisconsin Ave NW
62
Connecticut Ave and Porter Street NW
63
O Street and Wisconsin Ave (west) NW
64
Massachusetts Ave and 48th Street NW
65
Van Buren Street and Rec Center NW
66
Ft Totten Metro Station NW
67
Cedar Street underpass (Takoma) NW
68
Piney Branch Rd and Georgia Ave NW
69
1st Street and K Street NE
70
Rhode Island Ave and Franklin St NE
71
18th Street and Monroe Street NE
72
New Jersey Avenue and L Street NW
73
Haines Point Rec Center SW
74
2nd Street and V Street SW
75
Burroughs and Division Avenues NE
76
Ely Place and Ft. Dupont Ice Rink SE
77
16th Street and Minnesota Ave SE
78
MLK, Jr. Ave and St E's Gate 1 SE

 

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Transportation Nation

Capital Bikeshare Expansion Halted By Parts Problems

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

(photo by James Schwartz via flickr)

(Armando Trull - Washington, D.C., WAMU) A lack of parts is putting the brakes on the expansion of the Capital Bikeshare program in the District, according to a District Department of Transportation official.

Existing plans to add 54 bike share stations this fall will likely come up short, department spokesman John Lisle told The Washington Post, because they have not been able to get all the needed equipment from a supplier.

The system, launched in 2010 in the District, Arlington and Alexandria, has about 175 stations. It has struggled to keep up with demand at times.

The expansion delay has also raised questions about whether supplier Alta Bicycle Share can keep up with growing demand from cities for bike share programs. New York City's bike share program, which will also be operated by Alta, has been delayed due to software problems, as has Chicago's program.  Meanwhile, Alta picked up another big contract earlier this year: it will be the vendor for Portland's bike share. And in the D.C. region, Maryland's Montgomery County unanimously approved measures to expand bike share, most of which is expected to integrate with Capital Bikeshare.

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Transportation Nation

Capital Bikeshare Opens First University Station

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Capital Bikeshare on the streets in Washington D.C.

(Patrick Madden -- Washington, D.C., WAMU) Capital Bikeshare will now be a campus staple -- at least at one school in D.C.

Gallaudet is the first university in the District to host a bikeshare station, and D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray says he believes other schools will soon follow Gallaudet's lead.

"We are trying to get people out of automobiles, and certainly bikes represent a good way to get people around the city without the environmental consequences," says Gray.

Capital Bikeshare continues to grow in DC, with more than 165 stations. The program just recorded its 2 millionth ride.

Gray says the goal is to add 84 new bikeshare stations in DC by the end of the year.

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Transportation Nation

DC Bike Shop Owners See Big Returns From Bike Share

Friday, June 29, 2012

(photo by Martin Di Caro)

Listen to the audio version of this story here.

When the District of Columbia and Arlington County partnered to establish a bike sharing system in 2010, offering more than 1,500 bikes at 165 stations, local bike shops got a little nervous. Why would someone buy a new bike for hundreds of dollars when they could hop on a bike any time they wished for just $50 per year?

It turns out their fears were for naught. Bike store owners say bike sharing is actually helping their businesses by fueling an explosion in bicycling enthusiasm. Moreover, bike shops say they are witnessing a culture change in their neighborhoods as more people leave their cars at home and hop on two-wheelers.

"We've seen all kinds of people out on the streets," says Erik Kugler, the owner of Bicycle Space, a new shop on 7th Street NW. "Streets are becoming safer. Drivers are becoming more courteous. The city is becoming a much more fun place."

Kugler says customers are buying bikes because of Capital Bikeshare.

"We've had plenty of those people," he says. "In fact, when you contacted me about the story I put it out on Facebook and Twitter, and we were just inundated with responses from people who said, 'I was a Bikeshare member, and it encouraged me to get a bike.'"

Kugler's and other bicycle users' Twitter posts about this story produced a flood of responses in just a few minutes. Jon Renaut tweeted that he hadn't ridden a bike more than a half dozen times since high school, tried Capital Bikeshare, and then bought his own bike. He says he's ridden about 1,500 miles already, just this year.

Laurance Alvarado tweeted, "bought a #Brompton after a great experience with @Bikeshare." Daniel Colbert tweeted, "I did exactly that. Loved Bikeshare. Bought a bike as a direct result."

Bikeshare proved to be a gateway drug that fueled an addiction. After bike sharing first, Kristin Frontiera, 25, bought her own bike online for $40.

"Bikeshare has gotten really, really popular," says Frontiera, a recently returned Peace Corps volunteer. "I'm so happy for it, but if I need to leave my house at 8:30 in the morning with the rest of America and go to downtown with the rest of America, there's no way. There aren't bikes."

Bike share program leads to more bike owners

Indeed, Bikeshare's shortcomings have led its users to buy bikes of their own. The cycles are a bit heavy and slow. On busy days there may be no bikes available at a nearby dock, or no open slots to return a bike, forcing a user to find another dock.

"When I started riding Bikeshare, there was a phase when I'd see another person and we'd say hey, Bikeshare! This is awesome!" says Frontiera. "Now I see them and I feel like I need to pedal faster to get to the dock before them."

Kugler is seeing more customers, and more significant changes, in his neighborhood that he credits to the rising popularity of bicycling.

"AAA estimates that people spend on the average [$9,000 per year] related to their car," he says. "So if you can build an area where people don't need to spend that money every year, that money becomes available for the local economy. You see new restaurants open up, cafes, niche shops, and small businesses like ours. We employ 18 people here."

The story is the same at City Bikes in Adams Morgan, which has been in business for 25 years.

"You are getting more and more people that loved using Bikeshare and now are saying wait, I want something that's my own," says marketing manager Ben West. "[They] want something that is custom designed for the kind of riding [they are] doing."

West says bicycling is achieving "critical mass" in Washington. There are enough bicyclists on the streets that motorists have to be courteous and accommodate them, even where there are no bike lanes.

"In some areas of the city, there is almost a traffic jam of cyclists," says West.

Bicycle community grows in D.C.

Any worries that Capital Bikeshare would ruin business for neighborhood bike shops are long gone. There were similar concerns in Paris when the Vélib rental system started. However, a 2008 report in Bike Europe, a website for bike professionals, cited a 39 percent growth in sales of city bikes possibly attributed to the huge popularity of the Vélib system.

The Washington Area Bicyclist Association endorses Bikeshare's program for that reason.

"We often hear that once Capital Bikeshare members find the joys of bicycling in the D.C., they go on to purchase a personal bike," says Gregory Billing, the association's outreach and advocacy coordinator. "Local bike shops have seen both an increase in sales of bikes and also repairs of old bikes. Owners and managers report seeing an increase of old bikes being pulled out of the basements or garages, brought to the shop for a tune-up and to be outfitted with a cargo rack for commuting."

Russell Martin, 25, enjoyed bike sharing so much that he bought three bikes of his own at local bike shops. "I ended up selling my car and buying a couple more bicycles, and I haven't looked back," says Martin, a sales manager at a boutique hotel who commutes on a bicycle daily.

He fell in love with bicycling again, but the limitations of Bikeshare also persuaded him to get his own cycle.

"I actually had a problem last night where every station within a mile of where I want to go was full, and there was nowhere to dock the bike," he says.

Annah Walters, 25, says she wanted her own bicycle only after trying Bikeshare first.

"One of the great things about Bikeshare is it's sort of a gateway drug to biking. You don't have to make a several hundred dollar investment," says Walters, who works at Habitat for Humanity. But Walters didn't have to make the big purchase when it came time to get her own two-wheeler. Her boyfriend bought her one for her birthday.

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Transportation Nation

London's Mayor: Bike Share Will Civilize New York

Monday, June 11, 2012

London Mayor Boris Johnson. (photo by hammersmithandfulham / Flickr)

(New York, NY - WNYC) When we heard that Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, would be sitting for an interview with show host Leonard Lopate in a studio at WNYC, we made sure to plant a transportation question.

Lopate: Our news department wanted us to ask if you have any advice for New York as it launches its bikeshare program next month.

Johnson: My advice is, 'Enjoy it.' I think it's high time that New York had it. It's a great scheme; it will go well.

Johnson then described how London's bikeshare program has transformed street life in Great Britain's capital city, and what New Yorkers should brace for.

Johnson: I think drivers have got to learn to recognize they are going to find bikes on the streets. It's just a fact of life, and it will civilize the place. It will improve the atmosphere. There's nothing more immediately redolent of a village than loads of people wobbling around on bicycles.

Understandably, Lopate was suspicious of the idea that New Yorkers could be civilized, especially compared to Londoners.

Lopate: London's always had a bicycle culture. And bicyclists, at least when I rode around London, actually observed the traffic rules. We would signal left turn, right turn, and not go through red lights. That doesn't happen in this city. Has there been the kind of war between drivers and bicyclists that we've seen in New York?

Johnson: I wish everybody was as punctilious as you are, Leonard. I'm going to have to confess to you that we've got some bad habits now in London. There's loads of people who jump red lights, ride on the pavement, intimidate pedestrians and disobey the rules of the road. If any of them are listening, they know who they are.

Despite such problems, bikeshares have come a long way since the 1960s, when a Dutch anarchist group collected several hundred bicycles, painted them white and left them lying around Amsterdam to be used for free--a bold stroke that inspired this super-groovy song. Today's bikeshares, like Barclay Cycle Hire in London, tend to be organized, branded and growing.

Johnson: We've seen a massive expansion of cycling in London. Last year alone, it's gone up 15 percent. The cycle scheme we've got in is expanding very fast. We're at something like 40,000 rides a day. We will go further.

Still, the Mayor of London ended with a cautionary note about the need for police to crack down on bad actors.

Johnson: But there's got to be a reciprocal understanding by cyclists that they've got to obey the rules of the road.

Are you listening, New York City?

Here is a video about how London's bikeshare works:

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Transportation Nation

Washington Hits Top-Ten Bicycling Ranking -- Big Cities Climb on List

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Bikeshare users in Washington, DC (Photo: Tara Bahrampour)

A report in Bicycling Magazine ranking the top 50 most bike-friendly cities places Washington fourth. In the magazine's last ranking, in 2010, Washington didn't break the top ten.

See the entire list 2012 here.

Then, as now, the list was dominated with more predictable cities like Portland, Minneapolis, Boulder, Madison, and Eugene. Seattle and San Francisco also made both lists.

But the big story of  this year's  list is the prominence of big cities --like Chicago and New York, which, like Washington,  both climbed in ranking.

Most of the changes that the magazine credits in Washington, DC -- including bike share and more bike lanes -- began under DC's former transportation commissioner, Gabe Klein, who now has that job in Chicago (up to #5 from #10 on the last Bicycling Magazine list.)

The magazine examined cities with populations of at least 95,000 for "a robust cycling infrastructure and a vibrant bike culture."

The magazine reports that bicycle ridership increased in Washington "80 percent from 2007 to 2010."  The capital city's bike share program is growing in popularity and recently clocked its two millionth ride.

 

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Transportation Nation

NY's Rocky Road to a Bike Share Sponsor -- or Why The Rollout Will Take Longer Than Planned

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

New York City Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan at the rollout of New York's "Citibike" bike share. (Photo: Andrea Bernstein)

When New York  Deputy Mayor Howard Wolfson and New York City Department of Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan announced New York's bike share program last fall, the intention was clear -- they were setting up "a new system to be comprised of 10,000 bikes and 600 stations in parts of Manhattan and northwest Brooklyn -- at no cost to the taxpayers" as Sadik-Khan put it then.

The system, it was explained, needed to be large to make it work -- the more potential users could depend on finding bikes in a variety of locales, the more it would be an actual public transportation network -- not some urban folly.

But when the system was presented Monday under its brand new-name, Citibike, to be funded through a five-year, $41 million contract with Citibank and a $6.5 million Mastercard sponsorship, it was somewhat less extensive -- at least at first.  "It will be a phased-in deployment," Sadik-Khan said at Monday's press conference.  "I mean we can’t just airdrop 10,000 bikes in. It will be between August and spring of 2013 that we'll have the deployment of the full system."

The bike share program, it turned out, would NOT hit the Upper West Side, Upper East Side, Park Slope, Cobble Hill, or much of Brooklyn beyond Bergen Street until a year from now.

Sadik-Khan wouldn't explain why, or when, this decision was made.   No other DOT officials would speak to this issue, implying that this was always the plan. When I asked Alta president Alison Cohen about delays in implementing the program, Sadik-Khan's spokesman rushed over to prevent her from answering.

But speaking to elected leaders, officials and several sources familiar with negotiations over the bike share contract, a story has emerged of a far more rocky road to a sponsor than yesterday's happy news conference would suggest.

"I got a call sometime last week, that’s when I first heard of  a delay," said Council member Gail Brewer, who represents the Upper West Side. Brewer says she was told there would be 7,000 bikes rolled out at first, with the balance coming next spring. Was she disappointed? Brewer, a big bike share backer, was philosophical.  "I'll be disappointed if I don't get my day care slots back," Brewer said, referring to Mayor Michael Bloomberg's proposed budget. "You have to have priorities."

When the city announced that Alta Bicycle Share would be operating the bike share it made one in a series of splashy promises -- there would be no cost to New York taxpayers. "Alta will be getting a sponsor," Sadik-Khan said at the time. That would make New York the only large-scale system in the country to be entirely privately funded.

"We're getting an entirely new transportation network without spending any taxpayer money," Bloomberg said at Monday's press conference. "Who thought that could be done?"

Apparently, there were a lot of doubters. Puma was approached, and Adidas (New Balance has sponsored Boston's "Hubway.") So was American Express. "All the usual suspects," said one source familiar with the negotiations. "The list of companies who could spend this kind of money just isn't that long. And it was unprecedented to raise that kind of capital  for an unproven system --  bike share on European scale, an order of magnitude larger than any system in existence in north America."

By February, officials were beginning to sweat. If New York didn't find a sponsor, the city could be on the hook to Alta -- but worse, many officials thought, the bike share program could be imperiled.

"It's a lot of money and each company has to decide whether the opportunities they'll have by sponsorship fit their clientele," said Bloomberg on Monday, maintaining he never worried.

But Alta's business plan was confusing, sources say, making it hard to reel in the big money. In late winter, the city involved its Economic Development Corporation in the planning, adding some business gravitas to the discussions.   (The EDC is a quasi city agency that usually hands out loans to entities willing to locate or create jobs in New York.)

Ed Skyler, Bloomberg's former Deputy Mayor for Operations (and Sadik-Khan's old boss), is a top Citibank executive. Citibank was lured in.

(Even so, everyone, from the Mayor on down, credits Sadik-Khan. "I never worried," Bloomberg said, "because Janette went after it. And anyone who knows Janette knows if she sets her mind to it it's going to get done.")

Eventually, Citibank was sold. "We think this is a very innovative program that makes people’s lives easier, that’s what we do, that’s what we do as a bank," Vikram Pandit, Citibank's CEO, told me Monday.

Was he worried about controversy surrounding the program? "This is a program supporting bikes, bikes are environmentally friendly, they're good exercise. There’s always controversy  -- but on balance we think this is a great program," Pandit said.

The Citibank contract was signed only two weeks ago -- far later than officials had hoped. Without the contract, there wasn't the upfront capital to get the bikes produced. And that, multiple sources confirm, was the major reason for the delay in getting the bikes to some neighborhoods.

Bike share boosters are, for the most part, expressing just the faintest disappointment at the delay in bringing bike share to the full footprint.

"The reality of implementing an entire transportation network from scratch for a city as large and complicated as New York will obviously require a careful approach," said Transportation Alternatives chief Paul Steely White. "The city is working with local communities to roll out bike share with as little disruption as possible. Sometimes that means revising timelines. The important thing is to keep moving forward and work toward meeting the huge demand for bike share in New York City."

Steely White, Brewer and others are willing to cut the city some slack -- willing to give credence to what the city says. "We said we would find a sponsor.  And we did," mayoral spokesman Marc LaVorgna said. " We're doing something that's never been done before."

When the bright blue bikes were unveiled Monday at City Hall plaza, there were smiles and claps. And the idea of "Citibike" seemed to convey exactly what the city wanted -- these bikes are for transportation, for getting around the city. These are urban bikes. And they are intimately tied with the city's economic future.

"A perfect outcome," Sadik-Khan told me yesterday.   I told her I was guessing she was exhaling right about now. A faint smile played across her lips.

 

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Transportation Nation

Maryland Moves Closer to Joining D.C. and Virginia in Capital Bikeshare Program

Friday, December 23, 2011

Capital Bikeshare station (photo by Priya George)

(Washington, D.C. - WAMU)  Montgomery County, Maryland ,which borders the nation's capital, is hoping for some financial help from the state to get its portion of Capital Bikeshare up and rolling.

The County's Department of Transportation has applied for a $1 million grant to fund bikesharing in the southern part of the county.
The proposal would fund 29 docking stations and more than 200 bikes between the Beltway highway and the county's border with D.C. -- that includes Friendship Heights, Bethesda, Takoma Park and Silver Spring, all communities filled with residents who work in the District.
The new stations would become a part of the Capital Bikeshare system already in operation in D.C. and in Arlington County in Virginia.
Montgomery has already been awarded a federal grant of more than $1 million for bikesharing in the Rockville area. County leaders say the aim is to eventually connect Rockville's system with Capital Bikeshare as well.
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Transportation Nation

TN MOVING STORIES: No Contract Yet Between UAW and Auto Makers; NYC Bike Share Is A "Game-Changer"

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Top stories in TN:

NYC chooses Alta for its bike share system. (Story, photos)

Congressman John Mica -- chair of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee -- has a love/hate relationship with infrastructure. (Link)

A lone Republican senator is holding up transportation and FAA funding extensions, because he said they will fund things like a Corvette museum and an albino squirrel sanctuary. (Link)

A bike lane on Manhattan's Upper West Side (photo by Kate Hinds)

NYC bike share: coverage in Marketplace, New York Times, NY Daily News, NY Observer, DNA Info, Wall Street Journal.

NYC DOT head Janette Sadik-Khan's editorial in the New York Daily News: bike share is another option for New Yorkers.

Editorial in The Guardian: bike share is a "game-changer."

Auto workers and car manufacturers failed to reach a contract agreement by the deadline; GM and Chrysler agree to extend talks. (Detroit Free Press)

In Canada, a study found that new immigrants are twice as likely to use public transit when compared to Canadian-born workers. (Global News)

The Obama administration wants to ban electronic cigarettes on planes. (AP via AJC)

A Chicago official wants to crack down on distracted biking. (WBEZ)

Taking stock of technology in cars: we're not that far off from "partial autopilot." (Wall Street Journal)

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Transportation Nation

D.C. Bikeshare Gets Boost from Osama Rally

Monday, May 02, 2011

Capital Bikeshare bikes at White House rally. (Photo: Stephen Miller)

(David Schultz, WAMU, Alex Goldmark, Transportation Nation) D.C. bikeshare trips spiked more than five-fold last night as residents converged on the White House to celebrate the death of Osama bin Laden. Bikeshare helped swell the crowd size.

From 10 p.m. to 2 a.m., riders took 558 trips on Capital Bikeshare. During a similar time period last week, they took only 105 trips.

John Lisle of the District Department Of Transportation tells Transportation Nation that, as of 1 p.m., fewer than a dozen bikes remained unreturned. Nothing to be alarmed or worried about, he says. Bikeshare members have up to 24 hours to return a bike before it is considered stolen.

Greater Greater Washington posted links to a few bike tracking apps that let you see from where the bikes were checked out and when.

Hat tip to Stephen Miller for the photo.

Follow Transportation Nation on Twitter.

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Transportation Nation

Visualization: London Bike Share Usage on Day of Tube Strike

Monday, March 21, 2011

(Alex Goldmark -- Transportation Nation) Last summer London launched a bikeshare plan that's on pace to have more than 4,000 bikes in and around the British capital. The scheme is officially called Barclay's Cycle Hire, but commonly known as Boris' Bikes after pro-bike mayor Boris Johnson who pushed for the plan.

This animation shows the real-time behavior of Boris' Bikes throughout London on one particular day: October 4th 2010. That's the day of a major tube strike, and the busiest day for the bikeshare scheme to date, according to the video posted by Sociable Physics.

Data collation and routing by Ollie O'Brien (CASA-UCL); Visualization created by Martin Austwick (ENFOLDing project/CASA-UCL) using Processing. See here for more info.

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Transportation Nation

Bike Sharing - Not Just For The Tourists Anymore

Friday, January 28, 2011

Courtesy Capital Bikeshare

(Washington D.C. - David Schultz, WAMU) Last year, D.C. unveiled its nifty new bike sharing service, Capital Bikeshare, which allows riders to swipe a credit card and rent a bike for a few hours from dozens of street corner bike-sharing stations across the city.

It was billed as one of the crowning achievements of former D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty and his prolific transportation guru Gabe Klein. (Ironically, the launch ceremony for Capital Bikeshare was held just days after Fenty's devastating primary election loss to the city's current mayor, Vincent Gray.)

At the time, one of the big questions that many people a few people I had was: who is Capital Bikeshare for? Is it really going to significantly improve transportation in Washington? Or is it going to be used only by committed cyclists and/or tourists looking for a quick way to museum hop?

Well, some early data is in and it looks like my skepticism may have been unfounded. As the map to the left shows, most of the trips taken by Capital Bikeshare have been within D.C.'s residential areas - not around the touristic mecca of the National Mall.

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Transportation Nation

BREAKING: D.C. Transportation Director Resigns

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

(Washington, D.C. - David Schultz, WAMU) Just a few moments ago, Gabe Klein, the director of Washington D.C.'s Transportation Department and a strong advocate of transit and pedestrian-oriented policies, announced his resignation.

Klein was appointed to the post two years ago by Mayor Adrian Fenty, who, earlier this year, was resoundingly defeated in his reelection bid by City Council Chairman Vincent Gray. Klein and Gray had clashed earlier this year over funding for the city's urban streetcar program, so Klein's departure just a few months before the new mayor takes office is not a huge surprise.

Still, Klein enjoyed a fair amount of support for his agenda, which, along with the streetcar project, included the installation of more bike lanes on roads, beefing up the city's local short-trip bus service and, perhaps most successfully, launching a city-wide bike sharing service.

Vehicle sharing seems to be Klein's M.O. Before joining the local government in D.C., Klein was a regional vice president of Zipcar, the pioneering car-sharing company that has taken off in many urban areas.

For more on Klein's resignation, check back in with WAMU throughout the day.

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