Image by the author.

Bright orange, green and yellow bikes are sprouting up all around central D.C. and Silver Spring, with a smattering elsewhere. They go by Jump, Spin, LimeBike, Mobike and ofo (written in all lowercase, to look typographically like a bike symbol).

This is dockless bike sharing, the newest arrow in the region’s transportation quiver. If successful, dockless bike-sharing technology could help move more people affordably and in less space—the fundamental geometric challenge of transportation. If 10 people on these bikes can fit in the space of one car, that could mean nine fewer cars adding to traffic.

However, there are some pitfalls. DC Sustainable Transportation, a coalition of business, government and advocacy organizations (which I head), has been working on policy recommendations for governments around dockless bike sharing.

Continue reading in the Washington Post.

David Alpert created Greater Greater Washington in 2008 and was its executive director until 2020. He formerly worked in tech and has lived in the Boston, San Francisco Bay, and New York metro areas in addition to Washington, DC. He lives with his wife and two children in Dupont Circle.