Frustration with Bikeshare Availability in U Street/Logan Circle – Fortunately Expansion Coming


JP shares the map above and Bikeshare responds:

“Check out @DDOTDC’s plan for expansion – 99 new stations! Comments open til 11/15:

The draft Capital Bikeshare Development Plan for the District of Columbia is now available for public comment here. It includes all of the analyses, a complete explanation of the process as well as detailed expansion maps. The comment period will last for 45 days and will close on November 15, 2015.”


46 Comment

  • I’m more frustrated that I have to switch bikes twice during my commute. Can’t they make the time limit a bit longer? I would actually use Bikeshare if they made it easier to use.

    • Um, can’t you just pay for those extra minutes you’re on the bike? That’s the whole point of the system.

      • Right, because $14 for a one-way commute (or $4.50 on top of the membership) is reasonable when Metro only costs $2.55.

        • It’s like and extra $1.50 for 30 more minutes for members…. I pay it often enough, still cheap.

        • Then take metro. Or buy a bike. Bikeshare is not designed to be your personal commuting solution.

          • Well, that’s why I don’t use Bikeshare. I actually had no idea the system wasn’t intended for commuting purposes. It seems like there are lots of people riding these bikes during rush hour.

          • Anon, the system is definitely not intended for your commute. Don’t know what to say other that I can’t believe you are commuting over an hour via Bikeshare.

          • Where did you get this information that Bikeshare should not be used for commuting purposes? Genuinely curious as I’ve heard this argument before but no one backs it up. Also, 78% of those polled in the DDOT report indicate they do use bikeshare for commuting purposes…so it sounds like this “don’t use for personal commuting” is kinda being lost/ignored.

          • Commuting with bikeshare is common and makes sense for a lot of people. However a ONE HOUR commute on bikeshare is not common and doesn’t make much sense. Just buy a personal bike. Your joints will thank you.

          • HaileUnlikely

            There is nothing wrong with using a Bikeshare bike for the purpose of commuting, but the “share” part of “Bikeshare” suggests that you’re supposed to “share” it, not monopolize it. That is why they charge for time, rather than just letting you pay a nominal membership fee and then just take the bike home and keep it for a year. If you want to use it for your commute, that’s cool, just pay for it, or at least have the dignity to refrain from complaining about the inconvenience of having to invest effort in gaming it to be able to complete an hour-plus ride without payment.

    • Be happy there’s not a layover period like in Chicago and New York that makes you wait 3-5 minutes between trips.

      • Eh, I’m just happier that there are other ways of getting to work, even though they’re not as healthy or as great for the environment.

    • You don’t actually have to switch bikes. You just have to dock your bike and check it out again. So, perhaps if you were actually switching to a different bike, this will curb your frustrations a bit.
      I actually don’t mind doing this because I can stretch and drink some water. Sometimes I don’t stop and just accept the fact that I’ll be charged extra. It’s still faster/cheaper/safer than Metro!

    • One of the problems with Bikeshare is that there are innumerable small things to they could do to make it better – and your gripe points out a big one. They are not doing enough to change behavior around commuting. There are 50,000 annual members and 3,000 bikes. It is not designed to be someone’s daily commuting solution – there is simply not enough capacity. Further, the special event and downtown corrals furthers the emptying of bikes all over the city to get to one point – absolute terrible customer service idea for anyone else who wants a bike at that time (or anytime given the frequent empty stations I’m surrounded by). They need to implement a commuter surcharge and raise the annual price to match demand and supply, try an incentive to get members to re-position bikes, increase density with smaller stations to encourage shorter trips, and (not huge, but helpful) place the stations on bike lanes facing the bike lane instead of the sidewalk).

      • These are some great ideas. A commuter surcharge would be excellent and help CaBi increase capacity. And yes, the price nowhere reflects the level of demand. They should also consider dynamic pricing during rush hours.
        I agree – CaBi’s were never intended for a daily commute to/from work. People daily commuting would be much better served getting their own bike for that purpose.

      • Exactly. These little things are what make me choose other modes of transit instead.
        If CaBi isn’t designed for the occasional bike commuter, then who is it for? If I’m running errands or visiting friends within a 30-minute biking distance I’ll just walk. It would be a good option for tourists but the touch screens are so wonky that they often give up. I would just like to be able to bike home from work occasionally, when I have the energy/time and don’t feel like dealing with Metro.

  • I don’t understand why the don’t include the reservoir on their maps. It’s a very helpful landmark for orientating.

  • I think it’s pretty unreasonable to expect there to be any bikes in a residential part of the city at 8:47 AM. Obviously for the past hour and a half hundreds of people have walked out their doors and picked up bikes to ride downtown for their jobs. Capital Bikeshare has been pretty upfront about not counting on bikes being available for peak commuting hours and directions- it would be impossible to have that many bikes.

  • ledroittiger

    Frustration with Bikeshare Dock Availability in Downtown/West End – Fortunately Expansion Coming

  • justinbc

    Basically zero attention given to all of Capitol Hill, bummer.

    • As far as I know capital isn’t in pg county at all. It could always be worse.

      • justinbc

        I have no idea what’s planned for PG County. This map only shows proposals for the District. But yes, I’m very glad I don’t live in PG County, and BikeShare stations is on the lower list of reasons why.

    • I don’t understand why they don’t have a dock at Cap South.

      • Given the location I’m sure there is some excuse related to security theater

      • You should ask the Architect of the Capitol’s office about that. It’s been on every list of expansions that DDOT has ever released.

      • I don’t think that area is all that well set up for stations. Part is AOC, part is that republican club, part is parking lot for the Hill, the metro platform at ground level can hardly be counted as such, and what retail there is just down the block isn’t all that much. Sometimes they don’t have docking stations because they can’t get a space to put them. There is one at the Suntrust at Pennsylvania and 3rd SE.

    • palisades

      Doesn’t compare to the BikeShare desert that is the palisades and glover park

  • I love Bikeshare — however, in my neighborhood in NE, the same 11 bike docking station has been there for almost four years, while more than 700 new units of housing have gone up around it. Good luck getting a bike! Repeated requests for expansion in this part of town have been ignored. I know they are doing their best, but I finally just got my own bike since I can’t count on Bikeshare. I hope the system expands and includes NE.

  • If I read that right, there is one bikeshare station coming to Logan. Hard to say. At least they are saying 2016.

    I do wish they would do a better job putting bikeshare stations directly near bike lanes.

    And yes, don’t expect a bike at 8:30 AM.

  • Go to work a bit earlier, just sayin’…..

    Seriously though, this is no different then complaining about rush hour traffic or crowded buses during peak times. Early bird catches the worm my friends!

  • The winter will surely help bikeshare availability

  • 8:45AM is a well after the first wave of commuters have gone to work. The issue is the way the city is designed in that there are purely residential neighborhoods and purely commercial/office neighborhoods. This can’t be fixed by CaBi – but perhaps a re-positioning bonus could help. But how do alert members to the need to re-position? A text, an alert when you check out? Personally I think they need a better app interface so that you can unlock bikes with your app rather than a key. That way the app could tell you “hey if you dock the bike in these stations in the next half hour you’ll get $1.00 credit.”
    The fact that I can almost always get a bike in Glover Park at 8:00am for a quick ride to the metro and then home after 6:00pm has me thinking that the system works decently well, especially considering GP is a tough to get to neighborhood at the top of a hill.

    • Lucky you. Bikes in my NE Capitol Hill neighborhood are now gone by 7:30 a.m. It used to be 8. Then it was 7:45 a.m. Now it’s regularly 7:30 and a couple of times the docks are empty by then. So if they don’t expand soon, I expect it’s going to be 7:15 a.m. Ironically, if I work fairly late and get off the metro at Union Station (7:30 pm.+) and want a quick 5 minute ride instead of 20-minute walk, the Bikeshare folks are there even-ing out the distribution.

  • If you look at the detailed maps from the full report, you can see on page 68 that there are NO new stations planned for the 14th/U corridor. Interesting that they have to strike a balance between catering to actual users (i.e., the central corridors like U/14), revenue (i.e., the Mall) and geographic reach (i.e., relatively unused stations in Anacostia).

  • There is a great opportunity here for a competition/incentive program to get users to redistribute the bikes themselves. You would get points by putting a bike into an otherwise empty corral (or perhaps a corral with fewer than 3 bikes.) And maybe you would lose points by taking the last bike from a corral. The people with the most points could get free memberships or other incentives.

  • Still some really glaring holes in Columbia Heights, Petworth, Dupont, Woodley Park. You should never be more than 1/4 mile from a station near downtown, up to 1/2 mile or so in the less denser parts.

    Overall im really proud of our system though.

Comments are closed.