Capital Bikeshare Will Make Us Greener

Big change needs to start somewhere. In Washington D.C., the concept of “bike sharing” is taking shape for the good of the environment and personal health, not to mention saving a few bucks.

Capital Bikeshare is one of the only bike sharing organizations in North America and models itself after a similar program in Montreal. Essentially, Bikeshare allows residents in D.C. and North Virginia to rent out bicycles from kiosks located around the city.

Once you sign up for a membership online, you are ready to go. The organization offers monthly and annual memberships at affordable prices, but also charges fees for the amount of time you ride the bike. The first half-hour is always free, the second half-hour costs $1.50. Your third half-hour will cost you $4.50, and every half-hour after that will cost $6.00. It might seem a bit pricey when you consider the membership fee, especially if you plan to ride long distances, but think about how much you spend putting gas into your car.

Visitors and tourists can also take advantage of Bikeshare with its 1-day pass. For $5 (paid with a credit card at the kiosk), you can rent your own bike for 24 hours without committing to a longer membership.

Another great feature of the kiosks is their mobility. The idea of “bike sharing” was attempted in D.C. in 2008 with a program known as SmartBike, but it had many flaws that Bikeshare did well to avoid. One of the biggest problems SmartBike faced was the inability to relocate their kiosks according to the demand for the bikes. It also failed because it didn’t offer a 1-day option, cutting out tourists, and was not marketed well.

Capital Bikeshare currently rents out 1,100 bikes through 100 kiosks, according to If this number continues to grow, we could see this concept spread throughout the country and make a significant impact on the environment.

Self-propelled transportation as a serious option for daily life is a perfect, concrete example of a change we can make to cut back on our environmental self-destruction. Props to D.C. for taking another swing at it. Check out their video instructions here:

My Trip Blog

I am flying out to Baltimore, Maryland tomorrow for five days. Luckily, I have plans to spend two days and two nights in Washington D.C.

Instead of leaving the pages blank for a few days, I thought I would blog about my trip here on 1stWorldView as well as on our Twitter and Facebook pages. Pictures and Videos to come. If you have suggestions on places to go and things to see in D.C., please send them! I would love to explore something off the beaten path and take a picture of a MasterChief action figure at your favorite location!

Also, if I see one, I will rent a bike from Capital Bikeshare and let you know how it goes.

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