From an intellectual or research perspective, there is room for me to support bicycle-sharing systems more than I do currently. But my perspective is strongly shaped by personal experiences. In four cities in four different countries over the past four years, I have tried to use four different systems. I have been denied on all accounts.
- I tried to do use the system Paris. The machine would not take my credit card because it did not have the requisite ‘chip.’
- I tried to use the system in Seville. The access machine for pod accessible from my hotel was not functioning at the time.
- I tried to use the system in London. No bikes available at my pod.
- On Tuesday, I tried to use Capital Bike share in DC. 24 hour memberships were not available owing to software system upgrades. Then, I read the below (thanks to Chuck Kooshian @ CCAP for sending).
Am I missing something?
Capital Bikeshare to offer limited service as upgrade gets underway
The popular Capital Bikeshare program is expected to offer limited service as its operational software that powers the system goes through a major upgrade.
It is the first time in the Washington are program’s four-year history that it has done such a significant upgrade, officials said. It promises in an announcement that the upgrade will “improve the user experience for our members.” The new software is also expected to allow the bike service to “begin testing new equipment for future expansion.”
For bike riders who use the program, the upgrade process will cause some inconvenience. The software work begins at 7 p.m. Tuesday and is expected to last from 16 to 24 hours. During that time, there will be a “significant impact” on users of the system, Capital Bikeshare said. Those temporary changes include:
- No credit cards can be used at Capital Bikeshare stations.
- Users of the program who have annual, monthly or daily key memberships will not be able to rent bikes from the same station more than once when the upgrade is underway. Users can rent bikes from one station and drop them off at the same or another station.
- New memberships and renewals will not be available on the bike share Web site, www.capitalbikeshare.com.
- There will be no updates for Web sites, maps and mobile apps on whether bikes are available.
- Capital Bikeshare stations will not offer the “time credit” feature.
Users of the Capital Bikeshare program are encouraged to check on Twitter and Facebook for updates or changes in the process, according to the program.
The bikeshare program has become increasingly popular in the D.C. area. In Montgomery County, the program had about 35,000 trips in its first year, exceeding the expectations from county officials by almost 50 percent.