The District’s new bikeshare system is set to roll out, so to speak, on September 20th. The original plans call for four stations to be in Georgetown: on K St. in front of the Swedish Embassy, on Wisconsin south of the canal, in front of Hardy, and in front of the university.
The first three of those stations appear likely to be ready in time. Although GM hasn’t seen any sign of the stations yet, they are installed quickly due to their reliance on solar power (thus no complications with Pepco, as delayed the SmartBike rollout). And these stations have cleared ANC and OGB review.
The university station, however, is in doubt. DDOT recommended a move to the top of the Car Barn. The ANC objected, and last week the OGB agreed. It’s not clear where DDOT will go from here. They concluded that there wasn’t enough space on the sidewalks outside of the campus gates, but they haven’t reached an agreement with the university to place a station within the gates. GM predicts that ultimately a station within the gates will be built, but it doesn’t appear likely that one will be in place by September 20th.
For those, unfamiliar with the concept of bike sharing, here’s how it works. You sign up for either a day, month, or year. You can pick up a bike at any station and use it for a half hour without additional charge. After 30 minutes, additional fees start to apply. You can return the bike to any station. A half an hour may seem too brief to some, but the point to bike sharing is that you use the system to get from point A to point B. If you want to meet up with friends in Dupont, just pick up a bike in Georgetown, ride it over to Dupont, drop off the bike, and just walk away without worrying about locking anything up.
GM signed up the first day, and he can’t wait for the system to start up.