US capital prepares to join London and Paris in bike-sharing club

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The Independent Travel

Registration for Washington DC's bike sharing scheme went live last week as the US capital hurtles toward joining London and Paris in the club of bike-share cities.

Consumers can now register for membership in the Capital Bikeshare scheme, which is likely to launch in late September, at a discounted rate of $50 instead of the usual $75.

With around 1100 bikes and 114 stations, the much-anticipated Capital Bikeshare scheme will be the largest of its kind in the US and a huge expansion of the downtown SmartBikeDC program which launched in 2008.

Annual, monthly, and daily memberships will be available for area residents and visitors to Washington DC and Arlington, Virginia.

Paul DeMaio from bike-sharing consultancy MetroBike said on his blog that after the bike-sharing scheme goes live, "the urban core of this region will be changed."

Washington DC's program comes only months after the launch of London's Barclays Cycle Hire scheme which launched in late July and will become available to the wider "walk-up" public in September - only pre-registered users are currently able to use the service.

By August 12, more than 100,000 journeys had been made on the system, said London authorities, with more than 44,000 people signing up for the program.

Paris's bike-sharing system Velib celebrated its third anniversary on July 15, having clocked up around 80 million trips around the French capital.

http://www.capitalbikeshare.com

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