Capital Bikeshare is adding 850 e
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Capital Bikeshare is adding 850 e

Nov 14, 2023

Capital Bikeshare is more than doubling its number of electric bicycles this spring as District officials touted investments in bikes and the city's cycling infrastructure to lure more riders downtown.

The regional bike-sharing system is rolling out 850 new e-bikes across its network starting this week, including nearly 700 in the nation's capital, District officials announced Monday. The new bikes come with a longer-lasting battery and new safety features such as an illuminated beacon that will help other road users spot riders.

Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) marked the expansion with a bike ride Monday on a newly opened bike lane on Ninth Street NW. The long-awaited bike path connects neighborhoods from Shaw to downtown.

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Bowser said the growing bike fleet and the 1.5-mile bike lane opening are crucial steps toward reviving downtown three years into the pandemic.

The bidirectional protected bike lane between Florida and Pennsylvania avenues is the latest addition to the city's system of more than 30 miles of protected bike lanes. It connects to other popular bike lanes that travel east and west, such as those on M and L streets NW, and Pennsylvania Avenue NW.

"Getting more people downtown continues to be our top priority, and this new bike lane and the new e-bikes make it much easier for many more people," Bowser said at a news conference.

With its latest addition, Capital Bikeshare will have nearly 7,000 bikes in its system — and well over 1,000 e-bikes in the District. About 150 new e-bikes will deploy to Arlington and Fairfax counties. Capital Bikeshare, in its 13th year, is available in the District, Alexandria and Falls Church, as well as Arlington, Fairfax, Montgomery and Prince George's counties. The jurisdictions contract with Lyft to manage and operate the system.

This is the first iteration of a planned expansion of the regional bike-sharing system in the District since the pandemic began. The District in 2021 announced $19 million toward a six-year plan to add 80 stations and 2,500 electric bikes.

Riders pay $1 to unlock a bike, then 5 cents per minute on a classic bike or 15 cents a minute on an e-bike. Day passes and annual memberships also are available.

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The new e-bikes are equipped with full retroreflective coverings, cellphone holders with wireless charging and a 60-mile range. They have smart sensors that will take the bike out of service in cases of equipment failure, Lyft said. The company said it will offer a $2 discount through the end of the month to residents who want to try the new e-bike, with the promo code "TRYCABIEBIKE."

"We’re making it easier than ever for people to reach jobs, family, and friends with sustainable, climate-friendly transportation that gets cars off our roads," Capital Bikeshare General Manager Dominick Tribone said.

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