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A prominent front-pager wrote a piece yesterday rightly attacking an abysmal Washington Times OPED which relied on shallowly absurd arguments to attack Capital Bikeshares.  The first line of The attack of the communist bicycles reads:

D.C. enjoys the largest bike-sharing program in the world, Capital Bikeshare.
Sadly, this is not factually true.

Even the linked source says:

With more than 1,200 bicycles operating from 165 stations,[1] the system is currently the largest bike sharing service in the United States
As pointed to after the fold, rather than being the largest in the world, DC barely makes it into the top 20 and isn't a tenth the size of the world's largest programs.

No, when it comes to bike sharing programs, the U.S. isn't #1 -- as much as the front-pager ... and I ... would like it to be.

NOTE: "Jingoistic" was in the original title not because I believe that that was the motive of the author or fundamental beliefs, but derives from reading the introductory line and hearing echos of 'we're #1' type chants when it comes to health care and otherwise.  Errors of fact can feed into mistaken understanding of the overall situation.

D.C. enjoys the largest bike-sharing program in the world,
This is simply wrong. The linked site re Capital Bikeshares states that it is the largest in the United States, not the world.

The DC program has 1200 bikes.

Look at this world list

At least three PRC cities have larger programs, including Hangzhen with over 60,000 bikes.  

France has seven cities with more bikes than DC, including Paris at 18,000

Munich is at 2000, Milan at 1920, Brussels has 2500, Barcelona 6000, Seville 2500, and London -- hosting the 'green' Olympics' -- has 8000.  Even Tel Aviv has 1440.

Rather than being the "largest in the world", by my count, DC's Capital bikeshares jsut barely makes the top 20.

To be clear, I would prefer to see many more programs in the United States and much larger programs.  I use my (electric-assist) bike for much of my transportation needs, including work-related trips that have included frequent 35+ mile daily roundtrips.  And, for a long time (see Energy COOL 4: Bike to the Future????), I have been enthralled with bike sharing programs.  

And, the errors (and mistruths) of the Washington Times monstrocity are far more egregious than a simple factual error.

However, such errors merit correcting ... sadly, sometimes the reality of 'prominent blogger' is that corrections within comments of such errors disappear within (the understandable) crush of commentary which can leave the errors of fact uncorrected ...  Yet again, a case where saying the US is # 1 doesn't make it true.

Note: Of potential interest, a DC biking consultant's Bike Sharing blog.  For an old, but interesting discussion, see Cities of Bikes

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