First bike sharing program in the U.S. launches

For a city with such a reputation for bureaucracy, it’s perhaps a sign of the new times that Washington DC is the first city in the U.S. to have a modern, city-wide bike sharing program, open for use as of August 13, 2008. It’s the same system used in Barcelona, and inspired by the 20,000 bike/1400-station phenomenon in Paris.

Ok, so the SmartBikeDC program at 120 bikes and 10 stations pales by comparison to Paris, but that’s 120 bikes/10 stations more than any other bike sharing system in the country. The annual fee is $40 for unlimited use as long as you return the bike after 3 hours, being able to rent a bike immediately after. It’s a better deal than the one in Paris where only the first half hour is free. However, be sure to return it within 24 hours otherwise you’ll be stuck with a $550 invoice.

One question you may want to ask is why are the bikes arguably so darn ugly? Well, who wants to steal an ugly bike?

Check out the Washington Post article, DC Bike Sharing Kicks Into High Gear.

Image source: Trishswishs

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