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DC to Provide Low-Cost Bike-Share Passes for Low-Income Residents

Cities all over the country have been experimenting with ways to make bike-share service accessible to people who don't have a credit card and about $100 to drop all at once on an annual membership.

Dr. James Huang, left, shows off the helmets that will be provided as part of D.C.'s new Community Partners Program, offering discounted bike share memberships to low-income people. Photo: Unity Health Care
Dr. James Huang, left, shows off the helmets that will be provided as part of D.C.'s new program offering discounted bike-share memberships to low-income residents. Photo: Unity Health Care
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In the last few years, Boston and Chicago both started offering $5 annual memberships for low-income residents. Edward Russell at Greater Greater Washington reports that D.C.'s Capital Bikeshare is the next system to make membership nearly free. Here's how it will work:

If you qualify for need-based services in the District, you can now get a year-long Capital Bikeshare membership for $5 rather than the regular $85 fee. DC's Department of Transportation hopes the initiative will encourage more people to use bikeshare and make transportation more accessible for the District's less affluent residents.

The new Capital Bikeshare Community Partners Program offers qualifying residents significant savings off the regular annual membership fee, as well as a free helmet and introduction to the system.

In addition to the savings, members in the program will also be able to use a bike for 60 minutes instead of the normal 30 minutes before incurring additional ride fees.

In Boston, Hubway's discount bike-share program is the national leader, according to the National Association of City Transportation Officials. Hubway conducted extensive outreach for the program, and about 18 percent of its annual users subscribe.

Elsewhere on the Network today: Seattle Transit Blog reports that the light rail line with the highest projected ridership in Seattle's new $50 billion expansion proposal won't be complete for 22 years. Bike Pittsburgh publishes survey results that indicate local schoolchildren overwhelmingly support bike infrastructure. And the Wash Cycle marks the opening of D.C.'s new bus-only lanes.

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