BIXI bike sharing hits Washington DC

US capital and nearby Arlington adopting scheme this year

The USA's capital Washington DC and nearby Arlington are both planning to implement the BIXI bike sharing system this year.

Washington DC is currently using the Smartbike DC public bike sharing system to improve the city’s public transport. The BIXI system will replace the Smartbike DC. The BIXI bicycle has many of the same features with 3 speeds, internal hub gears, fenders, chain guard, lights, and a front rack.

“We found out, by looking at one year of user data from the Smartbike system was that people use the bikes during the middle of the day for about 30 minutes,“ said Glen Harrison Bicycle Education Director at the Washington Area Bicycle Association. “So we think that those are people going to lunch, meetings or going out for a little exercise. Washington DC is such a dense urban area that is perfect for biking short trips under a mile. It is a great way for people to get around and it removes cars from the roads. It creates another option for folks.

“I don’t know how long it will take to bring the whole system into Washington DC, but they hope to do it as soon as possible. I would anticipate the entire thing will roll out next spring but it will probably start earlier and be phased in.”

BIXI will bring 100 more stations and over 1000 more bikes to Washington DC along with 14 new stations in Arlington.

BIXI, the Montreal-based public bike system, hit the streets in 2009 and gained international attention for its solar powered stations that make it easy to retrieve and return a borrowed bike. BIXI's success means that it's expected to reach the streets of Minneapolis, Melbourne and London.

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