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Capital Bikeshare Ridership Up 31 Percent in 2014, New Stations Planned

The Capital Bikeshare program continues to grow in Arlington, and its annual report shows more residents are using it, and riding farther, than ever before.

As of June 30, 2014, Capital Bikeshare had 2,771 registered members in Arlington, a 31 percent increase over 2013, and the biggest year-over-year increase since the program was introduced in 2011. The program cost the county $536,000 last year — it spent about $1.4 million and generated $895,000 in revenue — also the best recovery-to-expenditure ratio since the program started.

While announcing its annual report for Capital Bikeshare, BikeArlington said it’s planning to have 137 stations in operation by FY 2020, compared to the 75 stations that are up and running today.

There are nine stations in the county that are currently funded and ready to be installed, with four along Lee Highway and four scattered throughout South Arlington. Crystal City, Pentagon City and Rosslyn will benefit most from the FY 2015 planned expansion, which projects to add 18 stations throughout the county.

There were 191,961 Capital Bikeshare trips that started in Arlington last year, a 24 percent increase over 2013, and BikeArlington estimates riders burned 16.2 million calories during their trips.

One development that may slow progress during 2014 was the bankruptcy of Capital Bikeshare’s equipment supplier in January, and the more recent bankruptcy of the region’s station vendor.

“There is still some uncertainty about the supply of new equipment due to our station vendor’s bankruptcy,” BikeArlington wrote on its website. “In addition to the equipment vendor’s bankruptcy, the two companies that worked together on the hardware and software components of the system have discontinued their partnership. The manufacturer of the software and circuitry for our Capital Bikeshare stations has committed to producing a new, enhanced bikeshare station that will work seamlessly with our existing system. We haven’t yet had a chance to test this new station, but look forward to ensuring this equipment meets or exceeds our expectations.”

BikeArlington didn’t say whether the bankruptcies or dissolved partnerships would delay the installment of future stations. The ones that have been installed since the bankruptcy were purchased before the company went under.

Images via BikeArlington

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