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Bikeshare program rolls out sign-up site

In preparation for a September launch, the Capital Bikeshare program today unveiled new details and allowed prospective members to sign up. Here's how the bike-sharing program will work:

You can join the program for $50 a year, $25 a month or for a single day, for $5. That gets you a key to check out a bike at any station, any time you want, and ride for 30 minutes. If you have a bike out for an hour, there's a $1.50 charge, and if you have it out longer--for up to three hours--there's a three dollar charge.

After that, it gets expensive: six dollars for every half hour--or $70 for 6.5 hours with a bike, with a $1,000 charge hitting your credit card if it's not back within 24 hours. But that kind of leisurely ride, except for tourists, isn't the point of the program, and those who enjoy long trips through Rock Creek Park, for example, likely already own wheels. This is a program for getting places, especially for one-way trips, and by enabling you to check out a bike at one site and check it in at another, near your destination, it absolves you of having to "park" or secure the bike.

It's intended to replace a bus ride, short Metro trip, or better yet, give you a direct route to spots not easily accessible by those means.

Helmets aren't provided, and if an automated, solar-powered bike docking station is full when you try to drop off your bike, you'll have to go to another station. They're 3-speed bikes.

The new Web site has a map of bike stations.

By Luke Rosiak  | August 11, 2010; 2:56 PM ET
Categories:  Biking, District  | Tags:  BikeShare  
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