Last night, crowds gathered at the White House to celebrate the news that Osama bin Laden had been killed by US forces. Capital Bikeshare played a significant role in getting people there quickly.
Reader Graham Katz logged on to a bikeshare usage tracking map, which showed a major shift in bikes toward stations close to the White House. Erik Weber noticed the same using his Spotcycle app.
Many others apparently couldn’t find docks or didn’t want to take the time to detour, so people just kept bikes with them or left them sitting nearby. Hopefully they all made it back to docks at the end of the night, even if individual people ended up taking each other’s bikes.
One of bike sharing’s advantages is that it’s very flexible. Unlike buses or trains, bike sharing can operate at full capacity at any hour of the day, even in the middle of the night when a special occasion warrants it.
On the other hand, unlike buses or trains, it can’t move huge numbers of people in the same direction at the same time, which commuters need. That’s why having a mix of different transit modes is the best policy.