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Use your phone to find CaBi

There's no need to memorize the Capital Bikeshare (CaBi) map if you already have a smart phone. Spotcycle, a free application for iPhone, BlackBerry, and Android phones, will show you the nearest CaBi station and how many bikes and docks are available.

Spotcycle was developed by 8D Technologies, the official partner of Montréal-based Bixi, the manufacturer of CaBi and other bikesharing systems around the world.

The application serves as a good example of integration of transportation system data with third-party applications. In removing some of the mystery behind locations and availability, this sort of integration enhances the utility of the transportation system to its users.

Eric Fidler has lived in DC and suburban Maryland his entire life. He likes long walks along the Potomac and considers the L'Enfant Plan an elegant work of art. He also blogs at Left for LeDroit, LeDroit Park's (only) blog of record. 


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Awesome. I'm so glad they were smart enough to support more platforms than just the iPhone, yet I'm still left out with my Palm phone. I can only hope that is in development.

by Bryant on Sep 27, 2010 1:20 pm • linkreport


by Adam L on Sep 27, 2010 1:25 pm • linkreport

I like the iPhone UI much better than the Android version's....

by andrew on Sep 27, 2010 1:29 pm • linkreport

Wish I'd known about this a week ago, when I paid 99 cents for an app called Bixou that does the same thing.

by Sam on Sep 27, 2010 2:09 pm • linkreport

No SoHoization!

by Packherd on Sep 27, 2010 2:33 pm • linkreport

This app, and also ifindbikes ( are both great free apps. Both of them were able to tell me that every morning when i would have used it, there were either zero or 1 bikes at my local pick-up spots (Mt Pleasant/ Adams Morgan), and zero open docks from Dupont to Foggy Bottom. :(

I know the system is new, and I hope that they will get better/faster with bike redistribution and/or adding docks to popular drop-off spots, but meanwhile it is a bit frustrating not to be able to count on it: of the 8-10 times I would have used CaBi, I was only able to do so 3 times.

by jj on Sep 27, 2010 2:50 pm • linkreport

So when are they going to get around to installing done stations downtown? There's nothing south of Mass and east of 16th.

by Reid on Sep 27, 2010 2:55 pm • linkreport

"This app, and also ifindbikes ( are both great free apps. Both of them were able to tell me that every morning when i would have used it, there were either zero or 1 bikes at my local pick-up spots (Mt Pleasant/ Adams Morgan), and zero open docks from Dupont to Foggy Bottom."

That's been my experience as well - right now, there are zero bikes at the 4 locations I would use to commute to work. (It's irrelevant, since the station near my office hasn't been put in yet, but still.) Or course, there may be a bunch there tomorrow morning as people go home this evening.

by dcd on Sep 27, 2010 3:15 pm • linkreport

@jj makes a great point - ideally there would be a closer match between supply/demand of bikes at each station, but even when the system has the bugs worked out there will be times when you can't pick up or drop off at your preferred location, and it's better to know about this ahead of time, which the phone apps make possible.

by Casey Anderson on Sep 27, 2010 3:40 pm • linkreport

A group of Bikeshare supporters in Ward 6 are trying to convince DDOT to reconsider their decision NOT to place a bikeshare station on the large pedestrian island at the southeast corner of the park. The agency reversed their decision after a group of neighbors opposed the bikestation, citing "safety concerns". We've started this petition--please spread the word among your network. Also consider e-mailing the Smartbike coordinator, Chirs Holben, at chris.holben [at] Thanks.

To sign the petition:

by Ryan Velasco on Sep 27, 2010 4:07 pm • linkreport

I use another iPhone app called Bixou. I got it when I was in Montreal last fall and just kept it on my phone as a cool example of smart data viz and open data use. I rediscovered it when the stations began going up around DC, and was even able to watch the progress in real time. Awesome. Supports Minneapolis, London and Melbourne too.

by Devon on Sep 27, 2010 6:58 pm • linkreport

Thanks! I has search for "Capital Bikeshare" and come up with nothing on my Blackberry Apps. Now I've downloaded Spotcycle.

by ccort on Sep 28, 2010 12:46 pm • linkreport

For Google account holders, you can also accomplish this by adding the Capital Bikeshare map to "My Maps". You can then go into Google Maps on your phone and add that layar to the map. This will give you the locations of the bike stations, but not the bike and dock availability.

by MSJ on Sep 28, 2010 2:24 pm • linkreport

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