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Capital Bikeshare Expansion into N. Arlington Nears

by ARLnow.com April 8, 2011 at 4:15 pm 4,201 101 Comments

If you’ve been waiting for Capital Bikeshare stations to come to the Orange Line, you might not have to wait much longer.

Capital Bikeshare stations are coming “very soon” to the Rosslyn, Courthouse and Clarendon areas, according to BikeArlington Program Manager Chris Eatough. Some sort of announcement about Capital Bikeshare’s expansion into North Arlington may come on Monday, Eatough hinted.

Previous reports have suggested that 20-30 Bikeshare stations may be installed along the Wilson Boulevard corridor by the end of the year. Crystal City and Pentagon City are already home to 14 CaBi stations.

Conveniently enough, Capital Bikeshare memberships are being sold at a steep discount this weekend. LivingSocial is offering one-year memberships for $37, down from the normal $75 price, and one-month memberships for $12, down from the normal $25.

The deal has proven quite popular. As of 4:00 p.m. LivingSocial was reporting that more than 4,500 memberships have been sold.

Flickr pool photo by Chris Reed

  • Aaron

    Need stations in Ballston! Scat!

    • Lou

      lol. Not sure how bikes are going to help with an excrement problem.

      • Aaron

        haahahhahaa .. typo there. WOOOPS! But maybe the homeless can ride the bikes to a real toilet?

        • Lou

          Two bums and a bike, first screening at the Artisphere.

      • Clarendude

        I believe the poor guy meant “stat”, short for statim, which means “at once” or immediately.

        Or, he may be so happy he wants to scat (hold on…) I mean sing in the vocal jazz style… “skeep-beep de bop-bop beep bop bo-dope skeetle-at-de-op-de-day!”

    • Ballston In Your Mouf

      Damn right; blanket the whole Ballston-Rosslyn corridor in one fell swoop! I need to be able to cruise from Ballston to Clarendin in fine style, ditch my hog, and get my cupcake on! Bikes for Ballston, bitches!

  • SoArlRes

    Can’t wait to see this arrive along Columbia Pike! Maybe 2 years from now?

    • Southeast Ben

      SoArlRes, you’re getting a frickin trolley…and now you want bikes? For those who don’t sense sarcasm…please understand this is sarcasm.

      • SoArlRes

        I want to live the car-free lifestyle. 😀

        • Tabby

          Just grab one of those rusted old used bikes that Papillon is trying to sell for $150-200.

          • Papillon cycles is the best shop in the area. They won’t sell overpriced junk.

  • CW

    Scat? I’m not going to ask.

    20-30 along Wilson? Good lord. 1500 Wilson is Piola, and 4500 is the lot they’re developing across from the funeral home on the other side of Glebe. So we’re legitimately talking about a station on EVERY block? Seems excessive from a logical standpoint and impractical from a space standpoint.

  • wilbur

    Fantastic! Need them along the Lee Hwy corridor! Got my living social coupon for CABI today!

    • Agreed ..very few buses,sidewalks a joke.Lee Hwy is treated like the redheaded stepchild..

  • Jeff Miller

    How much will this new project cost? The first installations in S.Arl. cost $850,000 for just 110 rental bicycles — more than $7500 per bike! That was 100% paid for by taxpayers. It sounds as if this new wave in N.Arl. will be larger, so the cost will likely exceed $1 million.

    It would be far cheaper just to buy a few hundred bikes ($100 apiece) and give ’em away.

    • CW

      But, uh, don’t people pay to use the bikes?

      • Jeff Miller

        Yes – but all of the rental revenue goes to the contractor, even though the contractor didn’t fund ANY of the start-up costs. All of the costs were paid for by taxpayers (including the bicycles, rental stations, PR campaigns, etc.).

        • Arl2

          And, isn’t the contractor a former Arlington County employee?

        • BoredHouseWife

          WTH? Seriously? Wow. We are chumps.

        • 4Arl

          Are all the contract details public?
          Hope this can be sustainable and not just a showcase project- looks like SmartBike DC lasted two years before CABI came along, but it’s not clear if it would have survived by itself.

      • What we really could use is more bike RACKS.

        • Arl2


    • LVaristocrat

      Don’t be a party pooper. Stations like these are the norms in some places in Europe and Japan. Why are we always playing catch up to social and cultural refinement, gosh.

      • Burger

        And the norm in the DC is to see 40 bikes lined up at the station unused.

        I would even bet the contractor has a guaranteed minimum from the county for them to be used i.e. if the over the top projections aren’t met, the contractor still gets paid.

      • KalashniKEV

        LOL… Riding a bicycle you don’t even own = “Cultural Refinement.”

        Is walking even more culturally refined? I’ll feel sad if everyone too broke to afford a car is actually more “culturally refined” than me! Explain how this works…

        • mehoo

          “I’ll feel sad if everyone too broke to afford a car is actually more “culturally refined” than me! Explain how this works…”

          Oh, they are, but it has nothing to do with transportation or wealth. 😉

          • KalashniKEV

            Well I want me some of that cultural refinement so I can date educated girls!! I’m gonna find me one of these bikes and ride the hell out of it after work! While reciting French poetry and drinking wine…

          • mehoo

            You’ll have to memorize the poetry and put the wine in a plastic bottle to achieve all that while riding a bike, but it’s doable.

          • KalashniKEV

            That’s going to be tough… if I put it in a squeeze bottle on the bike, then it won’t be culturally refined, and people won’t know what it is. This is a dilemma. Maybe I’ll just wear a beret? But I hate those damn hats. They take two hands to put on! I had to wear one for the longest time, and it was ghey. I’m at least good at memorization though…

          • mehoo

            I have a solution for your wine problem – just drink it straight out of the bottle. But a beret is indeed ghey, and it’s awful hard to fit under a helmet, which of course you’ll be wearing. Maybe this will give you some fashion ideas more to your liking:


          • KalashniKEV

            Hahaha!!! You know about that site?? That guy is completely and totally insane. The M113 is and always was garbage!

    • Stop Lying

      That was 100% paid for by taxpayers. Wrong. The Crystal City Business Improvement District helped Arlington with a sizeable $200,000 contribution.

      • RosRes


      • Arl2

        That still leaves $650K paid for by taxpayers.

      • And where do you think the BID funds come from genius? From taxes that don’t go where they belong…. into the GENERAL REVENUE. And who makes up the shortfall? The taxpayers.

        BID is a conn job.

      • Burger

        Snicker…someone who failed econ.

    • Max

      Chill out. Things cost money. That shouldn’t come as a shock.

      • ChrisG

        But should they be paid for by the govt. while a private company reaps the rewards? I truly hope we aren’t paying for this batch of bikes/stations and that they are reinvesting their profits.

        • R.Griffon

          +1 That’d be like building a road with taxpayer money and then letting some private company charge people to drive on it. Not cool.

          • BoredHouseWife

            I see what you did there

          • Burger

            Would the road ever be built if someone did step in and guarantee maintenance that the state couldn’t afford?

        • 4Arl

          It looks like LivingSocial is the winner on this one. It seems fishy to offer social network deals on government-funded projects. What’s next, the county will run a half-price property tax deal?

          • KalashniKEV


      • wilber

        Did you know!! Roads Coast Money! And Who Pays for those Roads! Tax Payers! I know you say, doesnt the drivers pay for gas. But would you believe that the gas money goes to some gas station owner!!! And you know what’s worse! Guess who gets paid to pave the roads. Arlington County. It’s time to get government out of government and privatize every road!

        The question is not whether transportation will be paid for in part by government. The question is how do we solve the current transportation quagmire that we are in. The reality is that CABI is a small but efficient part of the solution, essentially an overlayed public transportation system that supplements the routes that subways and buses follow. Noting that the subways system is overwhelmed and in Wash DC riding a bike across town is usually the fastest way across town.

        • MIchael H.

          Bike subsidies pale in comparison to the subsidies related to automobile usage. Gas taxes don’t pay for the entire road network. Besides environmental issues with car exhaust, there’s the fact that reliance on gas-powered cars results in an effective wealth transfer to oil-producing countries like Iran and Venezuela. It also means that we need to ensure stability in oil-producing areas like the Middle East, meaning hundreds of billions of dollars in defense spending. (I’m not criticizing that spending. Just pointing out that petroleum dependency is a significant weakness for our national and economic security.)

          You can also look at it from another perspective. The push to have people drive even short trips has contributed to the inactive lifestyle that so many people in the country lead. (Arlington is much better on this score than most locations.) Inactivity, bad nutrition and smoking result in most of our healthcare spending in this country. It results in the diseases and conditions like high blood pressure, obesity, heart disease and diabetes that costs us hundreds of billions of dollars in avoidable health costs. Yes, everyone dies eventually, but not everyone needs to be getting diabetes when they are 30 or racking up enormous medical bills (which are subsidized by taxpayers and anyone who pays for private health insurance) because of early-onset heart disease and high blood pressure. This leads to much shorter productive lives, i.e., fewer years paying into public insurance programs and many more years withdrawing large amounts. This is why the U.S. healthcare system is spiraling out of control.

          Will bikesharing and bike lanes cure all of this? No, of course not. But it’s a good start. When you look at all the wasted money on avoidable early-onset diseases and the economic and military vulnerability that arises from our dependency on foreign oil, then relatively minor spending on bike programs doesn’t look so bad. I’d rather see a few million spent on bike programs that get more people exercising than the hundreds of billions of dollars that we spend to treat people for avoiding diseases.

          • Burger

            Of course, we could drill for oil in our own country and, thus, stop the wealth transfer but that wouldn’t make sense to many liberals.

            The best way to lower the use of oil is to open up the reserves the US currently has but tie that in with higher gas taxes and real higher MPG standards instead of the CAFE ones the US currently implements.

          • Maria

            I really think that was the most minor point he was trying to make. That would only lessen one problem, leaving us with the other, hugely detrimental, issues he talked about.

          • saywat

            But car owners pay personal property taxes, decal fees, gas taxes, etc. Bike owners do not pay personal property taxes on their bicycles, nor license fees nor pay to register their bikes with the County. They use the roads and sidewalks. Seems like a subsidy to me.

          • mehoo

            Yes, bikes are subsidized for the .00000000001% of the burden they have on roads. So are pedestrians – you want to tax them for sidewalks too?

          • mehoo

            Drilling for our own oil is pointless, because we just don’t have much. We have about 3% of the world’s supply – hardly enough to make a difference in price. Our oil will cost just as much as theirs. Meanwhile, we consume 26% of the world’s production.

            It is insane to think we can make a difference by drilling our own. The only way to fix our oil problem is by using less.

          • Unless you start extracting oil from coal. We have mountains full of that.

          • mehoo

            Sure, that’s an example of an alternative energy source – though if it were that easy, we would have been doing it a long time ago.

            The point is that drilling for oil here is absolutely pointless. We simply don’t have very much oil.

          • Well, we do have natural gas and that technology is easy. Just look at the bus fleets. Why not use that?

            We do use the coal, indirectly. It is the major source of electricity generation. We’re pushing for electric plug-in cars, right?

          • mehoo

            Yes and yes. Nat gas and electric are both alternatives. We have lots of energy, just not alot of oil.

          • There are also millions of more cars than bikes, so comparing the costs of one to the other is like apples and oranges.

            The US has an over abundance of natural gas, which could be used to fuel cleaner burning automobiles. The fight here is political, and not based on foreign oil being the only source of energy for us.

            If people who drive to work don’t find the time to exercise, that is their problem. It is pretty common knowledge that if you don’t eat somewhat healthy and get some kind of exercise it is a health risk. Anyone sitting around all day in a car or on a sofa watching TV should have picked up that little bit of information somewhere.

    • MIchael H.

      Taxpayers also subsidize roads and reliance on automobiles and foreign oil. It also “subsidizes” the inactive lifestyle that so many people lead, which has a direct correlation to the massive increases in health spending over the last 40 years. Why not complain about the hundreds of billions of dollars that we spend on avoidable health problems like early-onset diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease? Anyone that pays FICA taxes and private health premiums subsidizes this sort of behavior?

      Road and car use end up transferring vast amounts of money to sometimes hostile oil-exporting nations. It also means we have to spend a lot more on defense to keep volatile regions like the Middle East stable.

      Bikes won’t solve all of these problems, but it’s a start. I think it’s a good investment.

      (I wasn’t sure if my other comment went through.)

      • Asher Yuki

        I think it is a great investment if riders wear helmets, and so far I haven’t seen any. Next we’ll be doling out cash to pay for ER bills from head injuries.

        • ChrisG


      • Farmers are using way too much foreign born diesel fuel in their tractors. I think they should start using mules to plow the fields. There would be less emissions (except for the mule crap) and we’d be one step closer to ridding ourself from the foreign oil. Food output would decline, but we’re such a fat nation anyway, right?

        • mehoo

          What a wonderfully irrelevant straw man.

          • mehoo, you can’t appreciate sarcasm. Lighten up, dude.

          • mehoo

            You lighten up – I said it was wonderful, didn’t I?

    • mehoo

      I see alot of questions being asked and alot of speculation, not many actual reliable facts. People, don’t just go freaking out about things you hear on anonymous internet boards.

  • RosRes

    Go CaBi! For all the peeps worried about auto traffic / congestion, this is part of the solution.

    • ChrisG

      Did Arlington County buy cars for ZipCar?

  • Set_the_Controls

    I want an accounting of funds spent on promoting bike usage, including repainting the streets. There’s an endless stream of verbiage coming from the county.

    • doug

      yes…and also an accounting of efforts to assist car usage (paving, lights, signage, plowing, etc.)…and everything done to promote walking ….something must be done about this!

      • Set_the_Controls

        not what I was talking about

        • MB

          Actually, it was. You’re just not bright enough to see the connection.

  • OX4

    Personally, I’m getting tired of CaBi announcing that stations in R-B are coming soon. Either install them or stop talking about it.

    • This was us asking them, not them making an announcement.

  • I wish they would come to Shirlington!

    • MB

      Tell the County Board. Tell Shirlington businesses. Seriously.

      • Tabby

        My legs hurt just thinking about riding up Walter Reed from Shirlington. Where else would you go? Ride around the block?

        • Josh

          Crystal City, it’s only 15 minutes by bike.

        • mehoo

          It’s not like there’s a major bike trail running through Shirlington with easy access to Crystal City, DC, Alexandria, Columbia Pike, and Ballston. Oh wait, there is.

  • Fixed gear bikes…. bleh.

    • MB

      Bitter you can’t fit into skinny jeans, eh?

      • TGEoA

        If you have to explain the joke, then the joke sucks.

    • JamesE

      I hope you got thick rimmed glasses and like PBR

  • Jim

    Why should taxpayers subsidize people riding a bike? Can the taxpayers have a vote on this?

    • Homey D. Clown

      Why should taxpayers subsidize people riding a car?

      • jim

        are you serious??? general tax dollars are used for bus and metro service. car driver roads are largely paid for by gas taxes… which then subsidize bike paths, etc.

    • Homey D. Clown

      Make ALL county-owned roads toll roads.

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  • CW

    Unrelated to any of the philosophical/political arguments but potentially related to the subject matter: on Saturday some telecom guys were out doing a LOT of utility locates along Clarendon Blvd., particularly at some of the larger intersections (i.e. ones that would make good bike depots). Anyone know if this was related?

    • LyonSteve

      I’m pretty certain the stations are wireless (telecom) / solar powered.

      • CW

        Yes – that’s quite true. They have to do all the card-reading and such. So maybe they are coming soon indeed. Yay for torn-up sidewalks! But it will be cool when it’s done.

        • CW

          I think I may have misinterpreted your post…but they still have to do some digging to install the stations I’d think.

  • KalashniKEV

    Do you have to bring your own helmet?

    Isn’t this like renting cars without seat belts???

    • CW

      I’ve actually had some curiosities about liability issues with CaBi myself. The main one concerns people using them as substitutes for taxis, the metro, and other reasonable forms of transportation when they’re wasted as hell. Can you imagine a drunken CaBi fleet dispersing from Adams Morgan onto the street of DC at 3 AM sharp? Lord.

      • I think the DUI laws apply to bikes as well.

      • LyonSteve

        I’m sure you sign your life away with regard to any liabilitythat the bikeshare operator may have when you sign up.

        With regard to your own personal liability, sobriety aside, check with your car insurance provider, it may or may not cover you while on a bike.

        • 4Arl

          Perhaps more importantly, you agree to sign away $1,000 on your credit card if the bike is stolen or you don’t return the bike within 24 hours for any other reason. This was a deal breaker for me.

  • LyonSteve

    I wonder how many are brown flip floppers who are banking on the program to come to N Arlington.

    • mehoo

      Riding a bike in flipflops sucks.

  • bradley saaks

    Capitol Bike Share/alta bicycles denies health insurance to employees who ride bikes for the job.


    i quit my job today and i am so happy not to be working for a bunch of incompetent people anymore. when i was hired in november i was a full time employee with benefits and an option to have health insurance after a set amount of time. starting feb. Alta bikes, who is the mother company of Capitol Bike Share, changed thier policy and made me and all of the people in my position a part time employee with out benefits. i/we was also denied any buy in on the health plan they ues for full time employees. then a week or so later, they gave back everything TO ONLY THREE of the 8 people effected and called them managers. the rest were paid the amount of PTO they were alotted for the year (i had around 27 hours) and no longer allowed to work a 40 hour week capping out at 32hrs.
    THIS ONLY HAPPENED TO EMPLOYEES WHO RIDE BIKES FOR THE JOB!!!. the employees who drive vans (rebalancing the system), and station technitions were NOT affected by this change in policy. they all still have a full timer with insurance and benefits.

  • Mary E. Merritt

    Its about time that they implemented this. Although I don’t bike at the office. I always have time for bikes on weekends.

    Mary E. Merritt
    Hour Veterinary Endoscopy


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