It has been reported that the Bethesda Urban Partnership is advocating that Bethesda join the many cities throughout the world who participate in a bikeshare program. Brilliant and necessary idea…
Both Washington, D. C. and Arlington, VA are currently hosting Capital Bikeshare — a program that gives its members access to bikes that are stored in racks at various locations. Riders pay a yearly fee of $75, which allows unlimited pick up and drop of of bikes, as long as the usage is for less than a half of an hour at a time. When the ride lasts more than 30 minutes, an additional fee is charged. There are also programs for people who don’t want/need an annual membership, but who want access to the bikes for a limited period of time (24 hours, a week, etc.). It’s the two-wheeled version of ZipCars.
Bethesda, which always faces traffic problems, is slated to become even more congested because of the BRAC reorganization that is bringing thousands of more cars to the Bethesda Naval Hospital campus (very soon to be the new Walter Reed). We definitely need a way to get some of these cars off the street, and a bikeshare program could certainly be part of the answer.
European cities have had these programs for many years and find them to be extremely successful for both residents and tourists alike. Let’s all do what we can to support Bethesda UP in this endeavor!!