Capital Bikeshare – Washington DC Bike Sharing

Capital Bikeshare
Photo © Rachel Cooper, licensed to, Inc.

Capital Bikeshare is the largest bike sharing program in the United States. The regional program provides more than 1600 bikes dispersed to 180+ locations throughout Washington DC and Alexandria and Arlington, Virginia. With the installation of bike lanes, bike signals and Capital Bikeshare, the nation’s capital has become the most bike-friendly city in the nation. The program provides convenient bicycle access 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Capital Bikeshare is similar to a system the Public Bike System Company (PBSC), based in Montreal, commonly known as BIXI. The BIXI system has been running in Montreal since 2009 and recently launched in Minneapolis, London, and Melbourne, Australia. BIXI bike sharing stations are solar powered and use wireless technology to allow for easy installation and adjustments.

How the Capital Bikeshare Program Works

  • Sign up online, by phone or at a Bikeshare kiosk. A credit or debit card is required. You may sign up for 24 hour, 30-day and annual memberships.
  • For a 24 hour membership, you will receive an unlocking code. For 30-day and annual memberships, you will receive a key in the mail.
  • Enter the unlocking code or use your key and remove a bike. The first 30 minutes of any trip are free. Usage fees will be applied for longer rides. Keep in mind that this program is meant to work as a transportation alternative. For recreational biking, it is probably more economical to rent a bike from local bike rental facility.
  • Return the bike to any Capital Bikeshare dock. If the closest bike dock is full, enter your code or key and you will get an additional 15 minutes to return the bike.

Capital Bikeshare Membership

Membership options include 24-hour, 3-day, 30-day and annual memberships. To sign up, visit

Capital Bikeshare Management

Alta Bicycle Share operates the DC program. Alta Bicycle Share is a US-based company focused on management and operation of bicycle share systems globally. Its sister company, Alta Planning + Design, is the largest bicycle and pedestrian consulting company in the United States. Alta Bicycle Share is implementing or consulting on similar programs in Australia, Europe, China, and other locations in the United States.

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