Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Do you do Capital Bikeshare? How do you like it?

Recently Capital Bikeshare put up a number of racks in our neighborhood -- outside Giant, at 14th and Harvard, 16th and Harvard, 11th and Kenyon, and Georgia and Fairmont. It seems like the racks are used pretty regularly, but a few friends had asked me about it, and I haven't used it.

Are there any users out there who can say in the comments how it is? How's the prices, are bikes available when you want them, is it easy to take and drop off bikes?

18 comments:

CBS said...

The only big problem I have with it is when I want to use it at peak times. I've tried using it to commute so I don't have to bike home in the dark, but it's a huge hassle. Several times, the station nearest my house has been empty, while the station (or, a few times, stations) nearest my work are full. That can easily add 15-20 minutes to my commute, and put me over the 30 minute mark meaning I get charged for it.

That said, overall, it's a good concept, if it still needs some perfecting. Even though I have a bike, it's really convenient to be able to bike somewhere and then not have to bike home or worry about my bike getting stolen.

Hoping the empty/full problem gets solved soon, though. If it doesn't, I wouldn't recommend joining bikeshare if you'll need to depend on it.

Anonymous said...

i love it. my yearly subscription has already paid for itself by using Capital Bikeshare instead of taking taxis.

Anonymous said...

I use it to commute to work weekday mornings. I have never not had a bike available (at 9th and U) or no space to drop off (at 14th and Rhode Island). I think it takes a little bit of time after they put new racks in to determine the demand. I know Capitol Bikeshre is in the process of hiring more folks to work on redistribution. Overall, $70 well spent and I've been recommending it to others.

Susannah said...

I work in the evenings in Columbia heights and then often meet up with friends on U St, in Dupont or AdMo. Joined CBs because I metro during rush hour and cant have my proper bike with me. It's been pretty rad. There's always a bike when I need it and that cold breeze for 10 minutes wakes up even the most tired of teachers. They are solid dinosaur-type biks and I like it. I haven't tried to use it at a time that wasnt past 7 pm, so I can't attest to its rush-hour feasability.

Anonymous said...

I use it several times a week either to commute from mount pleasant to dupont circle, or just to get from one spot to another.

I think the service is great. I hope it thrives in D.C.

U Streeter said...

I didn't think I'd use it much because I own two bikes, but I use it constantly. Especially on bad weather days I can ride to work (downhill) and not be committed to riding home (uphill, dark, cold), or I can change my mind and ride home after all.

I've used it to get takeout food in Mt. Pleasant. Food fits in the basket.

I've used it on other errands and trips from my office to meetings. They are granny bikes with good gear guards so you don't get sweaty or dirty and can ride in work clothes.

The bikes take potholes really well, but they are definitely not built for speed. That's fine though. I'm a happy bikeshare user.

Andrew said...

Without exaggeration, CB has changed my life. I signed up for it without even knowing how to ride a bike. I figured I shouldn't buy a bike to try and learn (knowing my lazy self would give up), so $50 in comparison wouldn't be a huge waste of money.

Now, I use it constantly. I can ride a bike! I love it! DC is a whole new town to me now. What used to take an hour to get to work (CoHi to Foggy bottom, whether I metroed, took the circulator, or WALKED) now takes as little as 13 minutes.

I feel like CB follows me around, because every time I think "I wish there were a bikeshare station right here," next week, it pops up. I'm a much more active person now that I have bikeshare, and I am never in want of bikes or spots to put them in.

CBS should note that if you take a bike and your destination station is full, you can go to the little console and say so, and you'll be credited an extra 15 minutes to go to another station. Still a hassle, but at least you won't get charged for it.

Anonymous said...

CB share program is good but riders need to learn the rules of the road. I have almost been run over on the 14th St NW sidewalk by CB riders and almost had a head on with a CB biker riding the wrong way on a one way street and he was not even in the bike lane. CB needs to do more to educate the occasional rider on proper riding etequit.

Emily said...

I love it! I live in Mt. P right by the little triangle and sometimes that one is full after 11pm, but other than that I've had no problems at all. I signed up when it was only $50 for the year and now I think it's $75. Either way, I use them all the time and have certainly paid for my membership by not taking the bus/metro. Support the bikes!

Anonymous said...

Love it! Love it! Love it! I take it to and from U Street to Georgetown every day and I can't believe I never did this sooner. I've never had a problem with there not being a bike or a dock when I need one.

For those thinking of doing it don't hesitate for a second! For the longest time I was scared to bike to work because I didn't feel experienced enough to ride on the streets with D.C. but one time on the bike and I got over those fears quick. I understand the comments about CaBi's needing to learn the rules of the road but there are always going to be good and bad bikers, pedestrians, and drivers. I make the effort to stop at stop signs/lights and yield to traffic but in my experience the drivers and pedestrians don't yield to me on the bike. Cest la vie.

Anonymous said...

count me a convert. I now ride to work every day (14/Harvard to 21st and M) and what was a 20-25 minute bus ride is now a 13 minute jaunt to work. I never have a problem getting a bike or returning it, except on the weekends when it's nice out. I've easily made back my 50 bucks, and hope to see it expand a bit more for some weekend exploring (it's so easy to ride station to station, checking in and out to avoid the >30 minute charge.)

Anonymous said...

Buy a car! Support America!

Anonymous said...

so aside from the yearly membership, do you have to pay per use still? if so, how is that rate?

joe said...

Use it occasionally to trim some time off work and so I don't have to lug a bike all the way to the office. I live in Columbia Heights and work out in Herndon, but a couple of morning a week I'll take a bike from 14th/Harvard down to Foggy Bottom instead of the 52/3/4 to McPherson Square. Really works out when I leave early in the morning (5:30-6am) when the buses are a little more spaced out. It's also good for picking up takeout from Adams Morgan/Mt. Pleasant (basket is the perfect size for meals for 2-3).

Jon said...

I can do the trip from 14th and Harvard down to L'Enfant Plaza a minute or two faster on the bike than on Metro, and I'm not I love Capital Bikeshare. It can be a little tough to get a bike at 14th or 16th and Harvard if you're too close to 9am, but I've never seen the rack at Giant empty.

John said...

I used it for the first time today, from Cheights to 16th and U. I love it.

Anonymous said...

In general I think it's great. They're still working out the kinks at the more popular sites with being empty or full, but I think they will work that out. My only real concern is that there are now many unexperienced bikers out there not wearing helmets (not to mention drunk).

Anonymous said...

Why don't people just buy a cheap beater? Plenty of bikes on craigslist for under 100 bucks that work perfectly well. Makes no sense to me.