Last month I got a chance to tour the Capital Bikeshare warehouse. Readers will recall that at the July Bicycle Advisory Council meeting, DDOT announced that they had procured 10 more stations and that they would be installed by the end of the month, so I was surprised when I saw so many stations still sitting in the warehouse. You can see the bases and towers in the photo below.
Since then, DDOT has more widely announced the additional stations and included a map of where they're to be placed.
In the above photo you can see the TELUS ad on the dock facing the camera. That's because, as has now been widely reported, these pieces of hardware came from Ottawa, which had a deal with Telus.
Below are the rows of docks awaiting disbursement throughout the area. It's taking much longer than a month to place all of these stations, and some of these have been sitting at the warehouse since January I was told (which would mean they predate the Ottawa deal), but it's good to see that equipment is ready for placement. Adding more stations downtown will go a long way to providing better service to current users and will make rebalancing much easier.
One nice thing about reusing the Capital Bixi bikes is that they're already red, so that Alta doesn't have to strip off all the paint. They are, however, a slightly different shade, so you'll be able to spot the immigrant bikes amidst the natives.
Of course, the next batch of CaBi bikes could be even more different than these are.
the manufacturer of the software and circuitry for our Capital Bikeshare stations has committed to producing an all-new, enhanced bikeshare station that will work seamlessly with our existing system. We haven’t yet had a chance to test this new station, and cannot commit to a larger-scale expansion of Capital Bikeshare in the District until we are fully satisfied that this new hardware meets or exceeds our requirements. However, our hope is that by Spring 2015, we will be announcing the arrival of 40 or more new stations that will bring Capital Bikeshare to many more DC residents, workers, and destinations.
I hope they steal some ideas from other bikeshare companies. Things like GPS and more basket-like baskets.