Capital Bikeshare Striving to Become Financially Self-Sufficient

For a new mode of transit and a fledgling service, Arlington’s portion of Capital Bikeshare (CaBi) finished its first year with a cost recovery rate that other transit providers in the U.S. would find admirable. The regional CaBi service launched on September 20, 2010 and Arlington’s portion achieved an 81% cost recovery – the ratio of revenues to operating costs – during its first year. Compared to other bikesharing services in the U.S., CaBi did well considering it was the only year-round service at the time. Compared to other modes of transit in the U.S., Europe, and Asia, CaBi fares well, but still has a way to go.

Bikeshare Systems                                         Ratio   Year
Capital Bikeshare (Arlington)                           81%   2011 (operates year-round)
Capital Bikeshare (DC)                                   120%   2011 (operates year-round)
Denver Bike Sharing                                       149%   2010 (operates 7.3 months/year)

Rail Systems                                                   Ratio   Year
Chicago (CTA)                                                53.1%  2010
New York City (NYCT)                                 71.7%  2010
Philadelphia (SEPTA)                                     51.1%  2010
Washington, DC (WMATA)                           62.1%  2010

Amsterdam                                                     41.3%   2007
Berlin                                                              70.3%   2010
Brussels                                                          35.2%   2007