The issues of transportation for international students interested in studying in Washington, D.C. (just as with most travel abroad educational experiences) is worthy of student consideration and pre-planning. Transportation options for international students can be a tricky problem, requiring creative solutions whenever and wherever possible. An example of such creative solutions are the emerging bicycle sharing systems (also known as community bicycle programs, public bikes, free bikes, and yellow or white bicycle programs) in many major U.S. cities, such as Washington, D.C.
These are programs where bicycles are made available to the general public for a minimal charge (or for free in some cases) to be used for travel within specific areas in and around cities. This bike option reduces or eliminates the following issues of transportation for international students interested in studying in Washington, D.C. (infamous for its traffic congestion and delays) and other select U.S. locations: avoiding traffic jams, reducing your carbon footprint, finding home parking for a personal bike, cost and maintenance of a personal bike, as well as having to invest to protect a personal bike from theft.
Reasons for cities to provide these bicycle sharing systems range from promoting health and exercise for local residents to decreasing local environmental pollution. Of the many transportation options for international students in D.C. is a bicycle sharing system such as the Capital Bikeshare program or their competitor, SmartBike DC.
Other major U.S. cities with bicycle sharing system transportation options for international students include Boston in Massachusetts, Buffalo in New York, Chicago in Illinois, Denver in Colorado, Marquette in Michigan, Miami Beach in Florida, Pottstown in Pennsylvania, Salt Lake City in Utah, and Minneapolis in Minnesota.