DC Offers Free BikeShare Memberships as Metro Delays Continue

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The Capital Bike Share station at 11th and C Streets SE. E.O'Gorek/CCN

On Monday, District officials announced that starting Monday, Oct. 25, Capital Bikeshare is offering one free 30-day membership to all DC residents.

The offer comes after continued Metro travel disruptions caused by reduced service after a train derailed near Arlington Station Oct. 12. Transportation safety boards required Metro to pull all of the new 7000-series trains, which account for about 60 percent of the fleet. Traffic reductions are expected to last through the end of October, WMATA said.

“The service disruptions at Metro are deeply troubling for DC and the region. DC is open and we need a fully functioning transit system to get workers, students, and visitors across the city,” said Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) in a press release.

“We have been intentional, over the past several years, about making Capital Bikeshare more accessible and convenient for DC residents, and now we are proud to be able to offer this free one-month membership to every Washingtonian who might need it.” 

At a Monday press conference, the Mayor said she would speak with Metro later Monday to ask about the status of the inspection and the expected resumption of service.

While the Bikeshare announcement was welcomed by many, some said it does little to help those physically unable to ride, or those who live at great distances from their place of work. Others pointed to what they said are dangerous crossing points over the Anacostia and Potomac Rivers.

 

“It’s not a solution,” Bowser said at a Monday press conference, when reporters asked about some of these challenges. “There can be no solution to half of your railcars being out of service. But there are things that we can do to ease the burden people are experiencing,” Bowser said.

Free monthly membership opened at 6:30 a.m. Monday. As of 11:36 a.m., more than 950 people had registered for the free month of membership, said District Department of Transportation (DDOT) Interim Director Everett Lott.

To participate, riders should go to the “Ride Plans” section of the Capital Bikeshare or Lyft Mobile apps, or the “Pricing” section of the Capital Bikeshare website, capitalbikeshare.com, and select a 30-day membership for $0.

Once registered for the free membership, residents can take unlimited free 45 minute rides on the red classic Capital Bikeshare bikes. Rides are free up to 45 minutes, and Ebikes cost extra. Participants will need a valid credit card and phone number to participate.