Bad news for bikers: SmartBike expansion stymied

When the District Department of Transportation announced in March that SmartBike (the ride-sharing program that began last August) was set to expand to Georgetown this summer, we were pretty pumped.  Turns out the future of Georgetown bike-sharing isn’t quite so bright, though.

According to the Georgetown Metropolitan, Clear Channel, who agreed to run the program in exchange for control over the advertising in new D.C. bus shelters, isn’t being terribly cooperative.  Since they’ve already got their advertising rights shored up, they’re unwilling to add new bike stations.

GM thinks D.C. might have to cut the cord with Clear Channel and find another more accommodating company to run the program.  Either way, looks like this summer’s projected expansion isn’t gonna happen…

Photo from Flickr user Mr. T in DC, used under a Creative Commons license.

One Comment on “Bad news for bikers: SmartBike expansion stymied

  1. ClearChannel has, for a long time, had such a terrible reputation. I
    always thought this was undeserved.

    When they agreed to participate in the DC SmartBike program I thought
    to myself “Great- This will let people see that having a large media
    company around, like ClearChannel, can actually be very helpful and
    can benefit the public.”

    Boy, was I wrong- Now I found out they’ve agreed to administer the
    pilot program for Smartbikes and then withdrew their support as soon as
    they received advertising concessions from the DC government. Their claim
    that Smartbikes were “never supposed to expand beyond the initial ten
    stations” is an obvious and malicious way to shirk your part of the
    agreement. It appears they have successfully blocked the SmartBike
    program in DC and have probably set back the implementation of
    SmartBikes in this area for years- If only you had never gotten
    involved in the first place.

    Apparently their poor reputation is well-deserved, after all.

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