House Announces Program to Share Bicycles

Posted March 6, 2008 at 2:09pm

Chief Administrative Officer Dan Beard announced today the start of a bicycle-sharing program designed to provide a new commuting option for House employees that also aims to help people on Capitol Hill get more exercise.

Beard said on Thursday morning that he is aiming to launch the program, called Wheels4Wellness, by April 22 — Earth Day. If not, it will be in place by May 21, the start of National Bike-to-Work Week, he said. (A spokesman later clarified that Beard misspoke and meant to say the program will be in place by the bike week.)

Either way, the idea is to have about 30 bikes and helmets available in self-service racks across the Congressional campus. Employees must sign a personal injury waiver to participate.

Eventually, Beard wants to have bikes available at L’Enfant Plaza and Union Station for employees who commute to Washington on the VRE and MARC trains, he said.

“It’s not Paris,” Beard said. “But we do intend to model our program after other municipalities.”

Beard made the announcement at a rally his morning as part of the National Bike Summit, hosted by Congressional Bike Caucus founder Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.). Blumenauer said he is excited about the new House program, which is no surprise — he already bikes to work every day.

Exact details of the program are being worked out, and the House is in the process of picking a vendor, Beard said.

— Elizabeth Brotherton