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Region Seeks Grant To Expand Bike Sharing

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The region's roads could see 3,000 more shared bikes by 2012, according to the Transportation Planning Board.
Jonathan Wilson
The region's roads could see 3,000 more shared bikes by 2012, according to the Transportation Planning Board.

By Rebecca Sheir

Two years after D.C. pioneered the bike-sharing concept in the U.S., the region’s Transportation Planning Board is hoping to expand the program.

This is TPB’s second attempt to tap into federal funds, to make more bikes available.

The U.S. Department of Transportation didn’t grant TPB’s first wish: for 1,000 bikes to be shared on local streets.

So TPB's Monica Bansal says the board is trying again...only bigger.

"The system that we’re proposing would have over 3,000 bikes across the region, so it would be a fairly large system," she says. "I believe the largest in North America."

It’s called "bike sharing," but Bansal says she prefers "bike transit."

"You can buy a membership," she explains, "pick up a bike somewhere, take it to your work or transit or to the store." "And if there’s a bike-sharing station there, you can drop your bike off and go do whatever you’re going to do, and pick it up again if you need to get somewhere else."

Bansal says the DOT liked the idea the first time around; it just didn’t have enough funds.

So Bansal’s hopes are high for this new grant. She says by 2012, more people could be pedaling around the D.C. area on a shared bicycle built for, well, a whole lot more than two.

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