Capital Bikeshare, the largest cycle-sharing scheme in the US, launched last week, providing over 100 bike-rental locations throughout Washington DC and Arlington, Virginia.

When the bike rollout is completed at the end of October, 1,100 bikes will be available for residents and tourists to rent, making it the largest such scheme in America.

Membership options include 24-hour ($5/€3.70), 30-day ($25/€18.60) and annual memberships ($75/€55.70), with users invited to sign up at http://www.capitalbikeshare.com.

Bloggers testing the system since its launch have been full of praise for the scheme.

The Washington City Paper's Mike Madden, while acknowledging that riders "won't win any races on these things," gave his verdict as "All around, excellent."

The New York Times quoted one Washington resident as saying ""It seems cool because you don't have to commit," and Twitter users have been equally positive.

"Looks like Capital Bikeshare program is a hit. Columbia Heights station is cleaned out!" said one user.

"Trying out new Capital Bikeshare bikes. So far very awesome," said another.

Washington is the latest global capital to set up a bike-sharing scheme, with the idea having proved popular around the globe.

London, which inaugurated its service in July, has seen over 750,000 journeys to date, while Paris's Velib scheme, which celebrated its third anniversary the same month, has been used for over 80 million journeys.

http://capitalbikeshare.com/
http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/
http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/09/20/bike-sharing-expands-in-washington/

See how the system works: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qQ62cQiGFI8

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