This week marks the debut of Washington DC's Smartbike system, a bike-sharing program similar to those found in Paris and Barcelona. For a $40 annual subscription one can grab a cruiser off of any of the 10 self-service racks distributed throughout the city for three-hours at a time and return it to any of the Smartbike locations. Early media trials indicated significant time savings in getting between two points downtown as compared to taking a cab or Metro so the early write-ups in the media have been generally positive. It probably also helps that the weather this week has been unseasonably mild here, with the typical heat and humidity of mid-August in DC missing. https://www.smartbikedc.com/ http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/08/12/AR2008081202907.html It'll be interesting to see how this program works out in the first few months. The denizens of this city aren't exactly the most civic-minded people for the most part so I'm not going to be surprised if some of these bikes disappear or are vandalized early on. In addition, since the DC government is involved some part of this program will inevitably be a disaster. However, our current mayor, Adrian Fenty, is quite an avid cyclist so maybe this will help DC become more bike friendly with more bike lanes and a raised level of awareness of cyclists on the road. At least this program is a step in the right direction as far as supporting new transportation solutions within the city.