Inspired by the bike sharing schemes like Velib in Europe, Washington DC plans to introduce SmartBike DC which will make 120 bicycles available at 10 spots in central locations in the city. Those numbers don't exactly match Velib's thousands but the founders hope that there will one day be 1000 SmartBike's on the streets on the US capital. NY Times reports on the project:

For a $40 annual membership fee, SmartBike users can check out three-speed bicycles for three hours at a time…. SmartBike subscribers who keep bicycles longer than the three-hour maximum will receive demerits and could eventually lose renting privileges. Bicycles gone for more than 48 hours will be deemed lost, with the last user charged a $200 replacement fee.

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