How Capital Bikeshare got started, and what Cincinnati can learn

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.

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  • BathtubGin

    Including Uptown before Covington and Newport seems like a mistake to me. Cover the flat land in the river basin first, then once things are running smoothly think about expanding into the hills. Uptown will produce a lot of one-way traffic (because of hills), which will require more operations costs to balance.

    • http://www.UrbanCincy.com/ Randy A. Simes

      I too think that including Nky’s river cities like Newport, Covington, Bellevue, Ludlow and Dayton would make a lot of sense. But I suspect it will be logistically very difficult to figure out financing between all those different jurisdictions, and that’s probably why the City of Cincinnati looked into doing a starter system within its own city limits.