In August 2008, the District of Columbia became the first jurisdiction in North America to launch a bikesharing system. SmartBike D.C. offered 120 bikes at 10 stations in downtown D.C. and the Center City. Approximately 1,600 people joined SmartBike D.C. during its 2 years of operation.
Meanwhile, Arlington County, VA was working on its own plans for a bikesharing system. Together, Arlington and the District reviewed proposals and selected an operator for a new bikesharing system in May 2010. Over two years, the two jurisdictions established the regional Capital Bikeshare system that has grown to servie 5 jurisdictions, with over 430 stations and 3700+ bikes.
In August 2012, Alexandria, VA launched eight stations, becoming the third member of the Capital Bikeshare community. In May 2013, Montgomery County became the first jurisdiction in Maryland to join the network, with 50 stations serving transit-adjacent areas in Bethesda, Silver Spring and Rockville. In October 2016, Fairfax County launched its two stations networks in Reston and Tysons, the latest DC-area jurisdiction to join the Capital Bikeshare program. Working together, the District of Columbia, Arlington County, Alexandria, Montgomery County and Fairfax County are proud to bring an expansive, multijurisdictional transportation system to the region.
The Capital Bikeshare system is owned by the participating jurisdictions and is operated by Motivate, a Brooklyn, NY-based company that operates several other bikesharing systems including Citibike in New York City, Hubway in Boston and Divvy Bikes in Chicago.
The development of Capital Bikeshare was supported by many partners, including:
- Arlington County Commuter Services of Arlington County, VA
- District of Columbia Department of Transportation
- Local Motion, Alexandria, VA
- Transportation & Environmental Services, Alexandria, VA
- Montgomery County Department of Transportation
- Fairfax County Department of Transportation
- Motivate International
- MetroBike, LLC
In 2012, Arlington County completed a comprehensive 6 year plan for Capital Bikeshare in Arlington. This “Transit Development Plan” includes an overview of the Capital Bikeshare program, the State of the Practice, an expansion plan and a financial plan. The plan was developed with extensive public input at all stages.
Final versions of the executive summary and the complete plan are available for download below.