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That’s right, D.C. You no longer have to go to Paris to rent a goofy-looking bike and cruise around town. Clear Channel Outdoors, which maintains D.C.’s bus shelters and opearates the SmartBike program in various European cities—as “a revolutionary and exciting new means of public transportation” (also known as a bike)—is piloting its U.S. version of self-service bike sharing in D.C., starting mid-May. This development was announced in February, but unless you’re a regular reader of the Bike-Sharing Blog, you might have missed it. (I did.)
So for $40 a year, you get a SmartBike card that allows you to pick up a revolutionary and exciting new means of public transportation at kiosks around NW (Logan Circle, Metro Center, Dupont Circle, U Street, Shaw, Foggy Bottom, Gallery Place, McPherson Square, and Mt. Vernon Place). Here’s a map. True, the bikes are like the kind you taped playing cards to when you were 12, but, hell, it’s bound to be faster than the bus. One bit of bad news: Don’t expect to get ripshit and hop on one of these babies post last call. Last call at the kiosks is 10 p.m.