Tragedy of the Commons Comes to D.C.
Not to be deterred by the reality that most common property bike programs fail, Washington, D.C. just launched the largest and most ambitious bike-sharing program in the country a few weeks ago. Capital Bikeshare will eventually provide more than 1,000 red bikes (pictured above on the Duke Ellington Bridge in Woodley Park near my apartment) at more than 100 stations in D.C. and Arlington, VA. (see station map here). Read a news report here about Capital Bikeshare.
How have these bike-sharing programs worked out elsewhere? Not so well. Here are three examples of bike-sharing programs that have "gone flat" and failed in Paris, Lexington, KY, and Berry College in Rome, Georgia. Reason? "Tragedy of the commons."
Update: Here's another example of a failed bike-sharing program at Florida Atlantic University (HT: E. Frank Stephenson).