Our friends at TreeHugger ran a story this week that warms the cockles of our urban-hardened heart. Last week Washington D.C. implemented the high-tech Smart Bike program for people who have already figured out it’s cheaper and more responsible to leave the car at home.
For one dollar more than a 7-day Metrorail pass, you pay an annual fee of $40 for unlimited bike pickups. You do have to use the bike in three-hour increments, but you can turn one in and grab another if you’re on an all-day journey around downtown D.C. The annual membership fee is a departure from the model in Paris, Vélib, which only requires a credit card slide for you to rent by the day without any other commitment. But we’re in the U.S. of A. here people, in the district of the aggressively re-named “Freedom Fries.” This tough crowd needs safety measures in place to deter theft and hold people responsible for damaged and disappearing bikes.
So all of you TBE readers in the D.C. area – join the Smart Bike movement today and show them we know how to share, even in the nation’s capital! If this variation on a successful program abroad is a huge success, then the Smart Bike people can tackle New York, where police have a special place in their heart for bicyclists.
image courtesy of treehugger.com