A new plan by the District’s transportation department would add 99 Capital Bikeshare stations across the city over the next three years to better serve minority and low-income neighborhoods, tourist destinations such as the Mall, and high-demand areas such as Columbia Heights and downtown.
Another 21 current stations in particularly busy areas, such as Dupont Circle and Logan Circle, would be expanded under the agency’s draft Capital Bikeshare development plan released Tuesday. The six-year plan is estimated to cost $6.5 million. The station additions and expansions would occur over the next three fiscal years. The plan also covers maintenance and replacement costs as the system ages.
The city’s 5-year-old bikeshare program was one of the first large-scale programs in the United States. A recent District Department of Transportation market study found that the program successfully serves much of its “core bikeshare market.” However, the study also found, “Future expansion will require a more targeted and nuanced approach, focusing on filling in gaps, improving service reliability and diversifying the user base.”
That includes expanding popular stations or adding stations where bikes or docks become unavailable at peak times and at popular destinations, such as downtown, near the U Street Metro station and Dupont Circle. Stations also would be added to areas where residents, particularly in minority and low-income communities, are underrepresented in bikeshare usage, according to the plan.
If enacted, the plan would result in bikeshare stations within a quarter-mile of 65 percent of District residents’ homes and 90 percent of the city’s jobs.
DDOT is seeking public input before finalizing the station locations. Feedback must be submitted by Nov. 15.
The city also must reach more low-income and minority riders via marketing and by eliminating “payment barriers” for people who don’t have credit cards, while continuing to make more streets safer — and safer-feeling — for cyclists, DDOT said.