In today’s WaPo DC Wire, Mayor Gray is quoted as saying that Capital Bikeshare has 10,700 members. What the Wire doesn’t mention is that the recent Living Social deal offering discounted memberships sold 8,118 items – a 76% increase in membership. While not all of those are necessarily year memberships they do expire within six months. That’s a huge increase in users for a system that currently claims to have 1,100 bikes – about 1 per 10 members.
25 more stations added in the District with 10 bikes per station brings up the total number of bikes to 1350. That means the ratio could get as bad as 1 bike for every 14 members if all those Living Social members redeem their certificates at once. 28% less availability is a big decrease – I see empty racks fairly often – what will this do to availability?
UPDATED: It’s worth pointing out that not all of those certificates will necessarily be redeemed. However even a 70% redemption rate – which seems reasonable for an expenditure of that amount that doesn’t take much to activate – will represent over 5,000 new memberships. The best result for current members who want to see as many bikes remain available is to hope that these new members will activate their memberships but never make use of them – the health club model, as it were.