Friday, September 19, 2008

There here! Rental bikes for locals.

I did an entry earlier about this rent-a-bike scheme coming to my area ( Well, they’ve arrived. I saw my first Smart Bike DC location when I was downtown earlier this week and snapped some cell camera pix. In a nutshell, you pay $40 a year which gives you unlimited rides (up to 3 hours) throughout the year. If you don’t return the bike, you get tagged with a hefty charge ($500, I believe). There are 10 designated return areas/kiosks throughout the city.

As one can see, the bikes are rather utilitarian. Internal 3 speeds, chainguards with fenders and an upright riding style. The bike style offered means that anyone from a young rider to an old lady can ride them. Also, no mention about wearing a helmet anywhere near this kiosk I saw.

This is exciting. $40 is really cheap for what this gives you. It’s like an all you can eat buffet of bike riding for one year. If you want to keep your bike more than a 3 hour period, just return the bike to a kiosk. Then, re-rent another one for another 3 hour period. I hope this program is a big success so that other U.S. cities can copy these efforts.

See for more information.

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