Frequently Asked Questions

Get a Daily, Monthly or Annual Key: Becoming a Capital Bikeshare Member Get a 24-hour and 3-day Pass: Short-term access to Capital Bikeshare Paying for Riding: Rates, Billing and Fees Ready to Ride: Using Capital Bikeshare Bikes Troubleshooting

Ride Anytime for a Year or a Month: Becoming a Capital Bikeshare Member

How do I purchase an annual, monthly or daily key membership to Capital Bikeshare?

Annual, monthly or daily key memberships are available online. All Capital Bikeshare memberships require a credit card; payment may be made with either Visa or Mastercard. Members must be at least 16 years of age.

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What is an Annual with Monthly Installments membership?

An Annual with Monthly Installments membership allows you to pay the cost of the membership in 12 monthly charges or installments. The cost of an Annual with Monthly Installments membership is $84, slightly more than a standard Annual membership due to the increased credit card processing fees Capital Bikeshare incurs. Annual with Monthly Installments members pay 1/12 of $84 on the 10th day of every month for 12 months.

Please note that if an Annual with Monthly Installments membership is cancelled before the end of the 12 monthly installment schedule, Capital Bikeshare will charge the outstanding cost for the membership immediately. If an Annual with Monthly Installment membership is cancelled within the first 30 days of membership, Capital Bikeshare will charge the outstanding cost for a monthly membership.

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Is a security deposit taken when I become an annual or 30-day member?

No security deposit is charged when you subscribe as an annual or 30-day Capital Bikeshare member.

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I joined online. Can I use the service right away?

Unfortunately not, you'll have to wait until you receive your Capital Bikeshare key in the mail. You'll use your Capital Bikeshare key to unlock a bike, no need to use the kiosk before starting your ride.

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When will I receive my Capital Bikeshare key?

Your key will arrive in the mail usually within one week of joining Capital Bikeshare. If you have not received your key 7 business days after subscribing, please call to speak with a Member Service Representative at 1-877-430-BIKE(2453).

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I've received my Capital Bikeshare key! Now what?

Before the key can be used to unlock a bike, it must be activated by logging in to your account at CapitalBikeshare.com and using the username and password you chose when registering for your subscription.

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Will my membership be automatically renewed upon expiration?

Capital Bikeshare offers you the option to enroll in the Auto-Renew Membership feature, so you never have to worry about a day without access to the system. Enrollment in Auto-Renew means that on the day your membership is dated to expire, your membership will automatically be renewed for another annual membership period.

All annual memberships created on or after March 13, 2012 will be enrolled in the Auto-Renew feature by default unless the Auto-Renew Membership box is deselected on the Join form during membership purchase. All annual members have access to enroll their membership in the Auto-Renew feature by logging into their Member Area and adjusting the "Auto-Renew Membership" box found on the Profile page, or by calling to speak with a Member Care Representative at 1-877-430-BIKE(2453).

Members that are enrolled in the Auto-Renew feature will receive an email confirming when auto-renewal of their membership has occurred. Additionally, upon any change in the cost of an Annual Membership, an email will be sent to all members that are enrolled in auto-renewal to alert them of the adjustment. Membership costs will be automatically charged to the card on file on the day your account is auto-renewed. Members may remove their membership from Auto-Renew at any point of their membership period and when their expiration date is reached, the member will need to manually renew their account in their Member Area on the Capital Bikeshare website, or by calling to speak with a Member Care Representative at 1-877-430-BIKE(2453).

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Can I purchase an annual, monthly or daily key membership if I don't have internet access?

Sure! Just give us a call at 877-430-BIKE(2453) 24-hours a day, 365 days a year and speak with a Member Service Representative to purchase a membership.

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Can I lend my Capital Bikeshare key to someone else?

Nope, your Capital Bikeshare key is special to you and not transferable to other riders. Usage charges and/or potential damages incurred during use will be charged to your credit card and your membership will be terminated.

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Is it possible to join Capital Bikeshare if I don't have a credit card?

Another credit card holder can pay for your subscription to the service by signing up for a free, no subscription, membership. Then they will add you as a co-subscriber on their account. All membership and usage charges, as well any damage fees incurred, will be charged to the card on file.

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What if I cannot afford to pay the $75 annual membership fee to Capital Bikeshare?

Montgomery County’s Department of Transportation offers financial assistance to make it easier for people of low income to use Capital Bikeshare. A limited amount of funding is available through the Job Access Reverse Commute (JARC) program to improve travel options for low income commuters employed in the County or enrolled in job training or educational programs.

Those who qualify for the program based on income requirements will receive free services, including: Free membership for up to one year ($75 value), free bicycle education and safety training and a free bike helmet.

The JARC bikeshare assistance program will be offered to a limited number of income-qualified applicants on a first-come, first-served basis. To see if you qualify, contact Commuter Services at (240) 777-8380 or . Assistance in completing a registration form is available.

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Ride Anytime for a Day or 3 Days: 24-hour and 3-day Capital Bikeshare Memberships

I only want to use a Capital Bikeshare bike occasionally, do I need to become a member?

Infrequent users may choose to purchase a 24-hour membership for $7 or 3-day membership for $15 by using the kiosk located at each Capital Bikeshare station. Another option would be to purchase our daily membership online. Your membership lasts for 24 hours or 3 days, respectively, and you can take as many trips as you'd like during that period. As always, the first 30 minutes of each of your trips are free. After the first 30 minutes, you'll be charged for the regular usage fees. 24-hour and 3-day memberships are only available for purchase at station kiosks.

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I don't have a key as a 24-hour or 3-day member, so how do I unlock a bike?

Once your 24-hour or 3-day membership purchase has been completed, you will be issued an unlocking code to use at a dock with an available bike. The kiosk will also give you the option to print your unlocking code for easy reference.

Unlocking codes expire after 5 minutes. If you aren't able to use your code within 5 minutes, you may obtain another code at no additional charge by again swiping your credit card.

If you have any problems, please call to speak with a Member Service Representative at 1-877-430-BIKE(2453).

If you want the convenience of a key, but are an infrequent user, check out our daily membership to the get the best of both worlds.

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Will my unlocking code work for 24 hours or 3 days?

Nope. An unlocking code will only unlock a bike for a single trip. When you're ready to take another bike, go to any kiosk during your 24-hour or 3-day membership and swipe your credit card. Our system will recognize your card and issue another unlocking code good for a single trip. No additional membership fees will be charged to your card.

Unlocking codes expire after 5 minutes. If you aren't able to use your code within 5 minutes, you may obtain another code at no additional charge by again swiping your credit card.

If you have any problems, please call to speak with a Member Service Representative at 1-877-430-BIKE(2453).

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Paying for Riding: Rates, Billing and Fees

Are the first 30 minutes always free?

There are never any usage fees for the first 30 minutes of any trip on a Capital Bikeshare bike. Trips lasting longer than 30 minutes will incur trip fees.

Take as many trips as you want during your membership period.

If you would like to take a bike for an extended period of time, we recommend that you rent a bike from a local bike rental location.

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How will I be charged after the first 30 minutes?

Please visit our pricing page for usage fee details.

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How will I be billed for my membership and usage fees?

Annual and 3monthly and daily key members will be billed membership charges upon subscribing for the service. Usage charges will be billed on the 10th of each month of your membership. Your billing statements detailing your trip charges may be viewed by logging into your account at CapitalBikeshare.com.

For 24-hour and 3-day members, the cost of your membership will be billed to your credit card at the time of purchase. Any usage charges incurred during your membership will be billed to your credit card at the end of the 24-hour or 3-day period or when the bike has been returned after the 24-hour or 3-day period has expired.

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Ready to Ride: Using Capital Bikeshare Bikes

Tell me more about the bikes.

Capital Bikeshare bikes are easy, fun and safe to use and ride. They are step-thru frames, have 3 speeds, front and rear flashing LED lights and a handy front rack. Plus the internal hub gears, chain guard and fenders keep you riding clean, confidently and in style.

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What about the stations?

The stations are solar-powered and modular to allow for easy installation. Each station consists of a variable number of docking ports of the bikes based on demand, plus a kiosk for the purchase of 24-hour and 3-day memberships. There is also a two-sided information panel which displays a local and regional map of the service and usage instructions may be found on the kiosk.

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Do the bikes fit everyone?

Capital Bikeshare bikes are designed to be used comfortably by people of a wide range of heights, simply by adjusting the seat height. To adjust the seat height, follow the seat post down to where it fits into the bike frame and flip open the quick release lever (on the right side of the seat post). Raise or lower the seat to a height comfortable for your leg length and then close the lever to lock the seat securely in place. If you have trouble moving the seat, it can be helpful to wiggle it back and forth a little while pulling it up or pushing it down. Be sure that the lever is open before you try moving the seat.

After you have found your right seat height, check the number on the side of the seat post for quick reference and remember it for your next trip.

If you have any problems, please call to speak with a Member Service Representative at 1-877-430-BIKE(2453).

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How long can I take a bike out?

The Capital Bikeshare system is self-service to empower users to make relatively quick, short distance rides around town. The first 30 minutes of use with a Capital Bikeshare bike is always free and longer rides incur usage charges. However, you can take a Capital Bikeshare bike out for a maximum of 24 hours. If the bike has not been returned and correctly docked at a station after 24 hours, the bike is considered stolen and a fee of $1,000 will be charged to your credit card.

If you would like to take a bike for an extended period of time, we recommend that you rent a bike from a local bike rental location.

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Do I have to wear a helmet?

Capital Bikeshare recommends that everyone wear a helmet. You can keep a helmet at work or in your locker. Purchase a Capital Bikeshare branded helmet at the time of your initial membership purchase, or when you renew your existing membership. Click here for a list of local bike shops in the District, Arlington, and Alexandria to purchase a helmet, some even offer discounts to annual and 30-day members of Capital Bikeshare!

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How do I take a bike out of a bike dock?

It's easy! If you're an annual or 30-day member, just insert your Capital Bikeshare key at a dock with an available bike. If you've subscribed as a 24-hour or 3-day member, simply enter the 5 digit unlock code you received at the kiosk into a dock with an available bike. When the green light comes on at the dock, lift the seat up 4 to 6 inches and let it drop, then pull the bike's handlebars firmly towards you. Adjust your seat height, do your safety check, and roll on!

Remember: the unlocking code is valid for 5 minutes and only for a single trip. If you need a new code, just reinsert your credit card at the kiosk, you will not be charged any additional membership fees.

If you have any problems, please call to speak with a Member Service Representative at 1-877-430-BIKE(2453).

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How do I return a bike to a bike dock?

Push the front wheel of the bike firmly into the bike dock and watch for the green light to turn on. The green light indicates that the bike is properly secured into the dock. If the red light on the bike dock stays on, remove the bike and try another empty bike dock.

Remember: the bike is your responsibility until it is properly locked back into a dock.

If you have any problems, please call to speak with a Member Service Representative at 1-877-430-BIKE(2453).

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Can I take out more than one bike with my Capital Bikeshare key or my credit card?

Your Capital Bikeshare key will allow you to take out only 1 bike at a time. 24-hour and 3-day members may take out a maximum of two (2) bikes with the same credit card. The respective $5 or $15 membership cost will be charged for each rider's 24-hour or 3-day membership and a total security deposit of $202 will be placed as a hold on your card ($101 per bike).

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Troubleshooting

What do I do if the bike isn't working properly?

If your bike is not working properly, just lock it back securely at any Capital Bikeshare station and notify us by pushing the red button on the dock. In case of difficultly re-docking the bike, please call to speak with a Member Service Representative at 1-877-430-BIKE(2453).

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What do I do if there are no empty bike docks when I want to return my bike?

We'll give you an extra 15 minutes free use to return the bike to a station with an available dock. Simply go to the kiosk at the full station and enter your Capital Bikeshare member number printed on the back of your key (if you're an annual, monthly or daily key member) or insert your credit card (for 24-hour or 3-day members) to add the free time to your usage. You may also check the real-time status of nearby stations to find an available bike dock using the touch screen on the kiosk.

If you have any problems, please call to speak with a Member Service Representative at 1-877-430-BIKE(2453).

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What do I do if there are no bikes available at my station?

Using the touch screen on the station kiosk, you may check on the real-time availability of bikes at nearby stations.

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My Capital Bikeshare key isn't working! What do I do?

First, make sure your key has been activated by logging in to your account at CapitalBikeshare.com using the username and password you chose when signing up for the service. If your key is indeed broken, it can be replaced. Please call to speak with a Member Service Representative at 1-877-430-BIKE(2453) to have a new key sent to you. A $10 replacement fee may be charged to your credit card.

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My Capital Bikeshare key has been lost or stolen! What do I do?

Please contact a Member Service Representative at 1-877-430-BIKE(2453) as quickly as possible to deactivate your Capital Bikeshare key and prevent fraudulent use, as well as to obtain a new key. You will be charged a replacement fee of $10.

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My Capital Bikeshare bike has been lost or stolen! What do I do?

If the bike has been stolen, call the local police department immediately to file a theft report. You are contractually obligated to notify us of the loss or theft of a Capital Bikeshare bike, please contact a Member Service Representative at 1-877-430-BIKE(2453) as quickly as possible to alert us. You may be charged for the cost of recovery or replacement of the bike.

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I've had a crash involving my Capital Bikeshare bike. What do I do?

If anyone is injured, call 911 immediately. You should also call the police department in the jurisdiction the crash took place and file a report with an officer. This will help assure all important information is documented.

Within 24 hours of the incident, you must notify us of the facts of the crash by calling and speaking with a Member Service Representative at 1-877-430-BIKE(2453). The bike remains your responsibility until it has been properly locked at a dock, or handed over to a Capital Bikeshare representative. Otherwise, you must secure the bike until you are able to return it to Capital Bikeshare.

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