SmartBike Open for Business in DC
Wear a helmet. That's the one essential you're not going to get when using the new SmartBike DC system to take a three-hour tour around the city.
Such a deal: For $40 a year, people 18 or older can register online and receive an electronic card, like a SmarTrip card, that allows them to take bikes from one of the docking stations across downtown Washington and use them for up to three hours. There are 10 docking stations now and more are on the way.
Mayor Adrian Fenty formally launched the program today, next to the SmartBike rack at the Reeves Center at U and 14th streets NW.
Chantal Buchser, who works at the Washington Area Bicyclist Association in Dupont Circle and has been beta testing SmartBikes, rode up in a dress suitable for office wear.
The bike's design, with its low bar and well-protected chain, should allow just about any office worker to cruise the city in comfort before returning the bike to any of the stations with a spare slot. There's a basket with a Bungee cord in front of the handle bars, which come equipped with a bell.
Buchser, who is used to urban biking, said the transition from her own bike to the SmartBike design felt comfortable and safe. She noted that the SmartBike's distinctive design and red-and-white markings made it stand out, getting the attention of drivers and pedestrians as she rode across town. That's good for safety, she said.
Don't keep the bike out more than three hours, and above all, don't lose it. A replacement fee of $550 will be charged against you if the bike you took is not returned within 24 hours.
But basically, it's a two-wheel Zipcar. Go to this page if you want to start the enrollment process.
Do bring a helmet and a lock, if you're planning on stopping someplace between the SmartBike stations. Look here for the District's bicycle laws and regulations.
Eric Gilliland, the executive director of WABA, was at the Reeves Center ceremony to pass out the organization's guide to safe biking in the Washington area, but you can find that guide online here.
SmartBike is part of the same deal the city struck with Clear Channel Outdoor to set up new bus shelters across the District. The company gets to sell the advertising on the shelters.
Ready to go? This link will take you to a biking map of the District.
Posted by: Laura | August 13, 2008 4:27 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Mike | August 13, 2008 8:11 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: John | August 13, 2008 8:57 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Rich | August 14, 2008 8:52 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: Eric | August 14, 2008 10:06 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: Rich | August 14, 2008 10:19 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: tj | August 14, 2008 12:03 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Robert Anderson | August 15, 2008 7:45 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: Anonymous | August 18, 2008 5:19 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Rich | August 19, 2008 9:55 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Laura | August 20, 2008 12:06 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Rich | August 20, 2008 12:36 PM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.