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Norwegian designed SmartBike

Smart Cycling in DC

August 26, 2008

Washington DC has recently launched a self-serve bike share program, the first of its kind in the country.  The bike rental program expands the potential of DC’s alternative transportation network by employing technology to facilitate user access and enhance public transportation in the city.  The D.C. District Department of Transportation has partnered with Clear Channel Outdoor, who launched the very first self-serve bike rental program in Rennes, France in 1998.  The trademarked SmartBike quickly spread across Scandinavia to Spain and has now crossed the ocean to DC.  SmartBike is unique in its approach and is the only self-serve rental program n the world.  It is well tested, user and environmentally friendly, and complementary to other modes of public transportation.

Weighing only 15 kilos, the Norwegian designed bike is ergonomic and lightweight.  It can be found at key locations in Washington’s central business district, at stations that consist of an automatic rental kiosk and parking slots with locks to accommodate up to 15 bikes.  Subscriptions to the SmartBike program are a mere $40 per year via online subscription.  Each member receives a personalized card, which is the only thing they need to access the bikes on a first come first serve basis for a maximum of 3 hours at a time.  If the user requires the use of a bicycle for an extended period of time, he or she will have to check-in at a kiosk once every 3 hours to obtain a new bike, this is to ensure bikes are available to people as needed.