Freewheel Collective's Blog

"The bicycle is the most civilized conveyance known to man." -Iris Murdoch

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“Public service subsidized by advertising”

Check out this article on a public bike-sharing program, SmartBikeDC, that’s getting started in our nation’s capital. The article points out that past programs similar to this have failed because bikes quickly go missing or get trashed. This program limits that kind of problem because the hi-tech bike rental stations that keep track of users and the in/out of each bike.

Although the $40 annual subscription fee is an affordable and appropriate price, the online access and probable necessity of possessing a major credit card (the subscription page is not yet set up, so I couldn’t see all the payment options) poses a potential socioeconomic limit on the availability of the program. Still, its great to see that more programs like this are being planned and implemented in more U.S. Cities.

The program is a collaboration between Clear Channel Outdoor and the District Department of Transportation. The revenues from the subscription go to the DDoT and Clear Channel gets revenue from the advertising space at bus/bike stalls.

Update: See what some others are saying about the program. Danger Bay