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Survey: Bikeshare saves riders hundreds of dollars, car miles

Monday - 6/18/2012, 5:19pm  ET

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A large share of members also reported bicycling more often since joining Capital Bikeshare, according to the survey. (WTOP)

WASHINGTON - Those red bikes rolling all over D.C. and Arlington are saving area users nearly $900 a year.

Most riders use Capital Bikeshare bikes for short trips, according to a survey of 5,600 members, and nearly 20 percent use them to go to or from work. Members are using them instead of buses and the Metro, and cite a wide variety of benefits including cost, convenience and spending less time hunting for parking.

Almost 40 percent of the members who also owned cars say they drive less thanks to Bikeshare, cutting their annual car mileage by 523 miles, which is five million miles collectively. These members use the bikes for all sorts of trips such as commuting to the office, social or entertainment purposes and running errands.

Bikeshare is also benefiting businesses. The survey shows that users say they are more likely to frequent restaurants and stores that have Bikeshare stations nearby.

A large share of members also reported bicycling more often since joining Capital Bikeshare, according to the survey.

The program made headlines recently after a study showed most riders forgo helmets. Only a third of wear helmets, compared to 70 percent of commuters who ride their own bikes, according to Georgetown researchers.

On May 18, Capital Bikeshare celebrated its 2 millionth rider.

WTOP's Becca Pang and Kate Ryan contributed to this report.

(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)