How Capital Bikeshare got started, and what Cincinnati can learn from it.

What Washington D.C. has done with Capital Bikeshare is considered the nation’s best. It is the biggest, has the most riders, and is the most financially solvent as compared to the rest of the bike sharing systems in the United States. As Cincinnati prepares to launch its own bike sharing system, what can local leaders learn from the nation’s best system? More from Slate:

If you had been handed, a decade ago, a map of the U.S. and asked to predict where the novel idea of bike sharing—then limited to a few small-scale projects in a handful of European cities, might first find its firmest footing, you probably would have laid your money on a progressive hub like Portland or Seattle or the regional poles of walkable urbanism, New York or San Francisco—all of which were scoring higher, those days, in surveys like Bicycling magazine’s list of most bikeable cities.

Launching a sponsorless bike-share system intended to break even, or even make money, was unprecedented. And having no sponsor made raising capital a challenge, but D.C.-area governments scavenged for the money.