New stats released by Washington, D.C.'s bike-sharing program, Capital Bikeshare, show that the program is doing quite well, and also offer a glimpse into why bike sharing is such a simple and genius idea for a city.
Between when the program started on September 20 and the end of the year:
there were a total of 5,127 annual Capital Bikeshare members. In addition, there had been 11,332 casual (i.e. daily) members in 2010.
More interesting is this map of the trips taken with the bikes:
As you can see, the bulk of the trips are clustered in one area, and "are for a duration of 30 minutes and a length of less than a mile." This means that people are taking the bikes to do errands. Imagine being able to quickly get to the bank or an out-of-the-way lunch spot, without having to bike all the way from home. Bike shares can be integral not just in keeping people from using cars, but in drastically improving the efficiency of a city.