The bike-share concept is something that sets D.C. apart from the Netherlands. Van der Klaauw said that because everyone in the Netherlands already owns one or more bikes, a bicycle-sharing program would simply never take off. But because Capital Bikeshare is so inexpensive and accessible — $5 for a one-day membership or $75 for a year, and 1,100 bikes at 110 stations to choose from — it could significantly increase the number of cyclists in the city.
“We have the potential to one-up the Dutch in bike-sharing,” Klein said. “If we can provide as many options for people to utilize transportation without having to buy it, they can use their money for other things.”
If D.C. has anything over Holland, it’s space to expand. Many older cities in the Netherlands simply don’t have room to set up bike-sharing stations, Van der Klaauw said, but in Washington, “space is not a problem.”
Rep. Earl Blumenauer said he is pleased with the progress Washington has made in bike-friendliness in recent years. The Oregon Democrat’s home city of Portland has been named the best cycling city in America many times over, but the well-known bike aficionado said it’s especially important for Washington to catch up.
“I want more Senators and Congressmen to see cycling,” he said. If Washington is bike-friendly, it might encourage Representatives to take that idea home.
Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., walks on Broadway after a Future Forum with young entrepreneurs in the Flatiron District of New York City, April 16, 2015. Reps. Steve Israel, D-N.Y., Seth Moulton, D-Mass., and Grace Meng, D-N.Y., also attended.