Wednesday, July 15, 2009
The TIGER Roars in Washington, D.C.
The Washington, D.C. region's Transportation Planning Board today approved a $10M grant request for a regional bike-sharing program as part of a package of transit projects to improve mobility in the region. The multi-modal, multi-jurisdictional package includes bus rapid transit better connecting the suburbs to the central business district using Federal stimulus funds through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act's (ARRA) TIGER (Transportation Improvements Generating Economic Recovery) program. Should the Federal Transit Administration approve the grant, the urban core of the Washington, D.C region, which also includes Arlington and Alexandria, Virginia; and Bethesda and Silver Spring, Maryland would receive funding for about 1,600 bikes and 160 stations. Jurisdictions outside of the urban core also requested to be part of this grant application.
A regional bike-sharing program would provide Washingtonians another fast, green, and healthy way to get around town, while encouraging additional bus, subway, and train trips. Along with providing a new transit network in its own right, bike-sharing also extends the reach of these complementary transit modes by offering an easy way to reach these stations with a relatively low-cost "first mile/last mile" solution.
According to The Examiner, "Chris Zimmerman, who is a voting member on the board [from Arlington County], said he thinks the bike system will help make local public transportation complementary. 'It's the synergy among those things that are so important,' Zimmerman said. 'It encourages people to adapt to lifestyles other than getting in a car and driving somewhere.' "
As Washington, D.C. was the first to have a 3rd generation bike-sharing program in North America and Arlington, Virginia is rushing to be the third (after Montreal), the Washington region hopes to create a model for other North American regions wanting to implement multi-jurisdictional bike-sharing programs of their own.
Washington, D.C.-based MetroBike, LLC (the provider of The Bike-sharing Blog) is proud to assist Arlington and the region in progressing towards a full-scale regional bike-sharing service.