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Lower-income residents of the District will be able to sign up for Capital Bikeshare memberships for $5 a year under a new community partnership program.

On Wednesday, the District Department of Transportation launched a program designed to connect clients who use certain social services with the growing bikeshare network through organizational memberships. In turn, such clients are eligible to get discounted membership fees, expanded trip time, and cycling-focused education. The launch follows a pilot with the running-themed Back on My Feet organization and the Shirlington Employment and Education Center; the program is partly being funded by the Better Bike Share Partnership, a national group.

“It is critical that those with the most need are able to travel quickly and economically to and from their appointments, jobs, training, and classes,” DDOT Director Leif Dormsjo said in a statement.

In addition to Back on My Feet, the initial program participants include the District Department of Human Services, Unity Health D.C., Whitman-Walker Health, Community of Hope, and the D.C. Center for the LGBT Community. Typically, an annual Capital Bikeshare membership costs $85 (or $96 in monthly installments), while a 24-hour membership comes in at $8. The first 30 minutes of each ride are free (with incremental increases for additional 30-minute chunks), but under the community partnership program, the first hour of each ride is free. Participants in the latter will also receive a free Capital Bikeshare helmet.

There are currently more than 350 Capital Bikeshare stations in D.C. and parts of Maryland and Virginia.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery