Bike Share: Healthy Tech Right Outside Your Door

Updated: Nov 29, 2021

Bike Share: Healthy Tech Right Outside Your Door

Do you have a bike sharing service where you live?

Washington DC, my home, has one of the first bike sharing services in the country. In its ten-year history, riders have taken more than 27 million trips and ridden 150 million miles. Today there are 600 stations, 5K bikes, and 26K members.

A few years ago, when a rack of red bikes appeared on my street, I admit I was concerned about giving up parking spaces to accommodate them. But biking is so much better for the environment--and for our health and fitness--than driving!

Now, when the weather’s nice, I use it pretty often, mostly for local trips. I love that I can park at bike stations all around town while I run errands, and don’t have to worry about locking my own bike, or parking my car. During the pandemic, my family has used bike share to get outside and get some exercise in a fun yet socially-distant way.

DC's Capital Bikeshare program to promote a healthy community and healthy living
Image credit: Capital Bikeshare

DC’s Capital Bikeshare (the photo on the left is from their site) uses technology in a few ways that I think are cool. Their app lets you see where available bikes and docking stations are located, and report when repairs are needed. You can also see a history of your own trips and their duration. People can even download de-identified aggregate data for research, policy, or business! Further icing the cake, their automated rental stations are powered by solar panels. If a Bill proposed recently in Congress passes, bike sharing services like ours could be eligible for federal (in addition to city) funding nationwide. I’d vote yes! Would you?

map displaying where charged bikes are currently at in city to promote active living and biking for public transportation
Image credit: Capital Bikeshare App