Yesterday the District’s new bike share program, unimaginatively titled Capital Bikeshare, officially started. GM mentioned here a few weeks ago that the bike share program would “come” to Georgetown by yesterday. Well, turns out that was a bit overoptimistic.
Rather than wait until all the stations are in place, DDOT and Arlington County started the program with only about half the stations ready. None of those are in Georgetown. This isn’t necessarily how GM would have started it, since it’s a bit confusing for riders. But since most of the initial adopters are probably bike share fans like GM, there is probably little risk they’ll give up on the program.
Anyway, another concern for Georgetown bike share users is that on the map of proposed stations, the west Georgetown station is completely gone. Remember that originally it was going to be just outside the gates of the university, then it was proposed to go next to the Car Barn, and after the ANC objected, the station remains in limbo. DDOT representative John Lisle assured GM that they are still looking for a location in west Georgetown, but the decision hasn’t been made yet. The likely outcome will be that the station will be actually on the campus and that GU will pay for it. For this system to really succeed, it will need to have a station on the campus and in the neighborhood, but getting one on the campus is a good first start.
As for the other three locations that aren’t controversial: Lisle stated that about five stations are being installed per day across the city, and that all the stations should be in place within 2-3 weeks.
GM took his inaugural ride yesterday. It was fantastic. The bike is heavy (even heavier than the Smartbikes) but sturdy. The fat tires and the thick handlebars definitely brought GM back to his BMX days and inspired him to add a certain classic to his Netflix queue.