May 16, 2012

D.C. Metro launches bike and ride facility

Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (Metro) opened its first Bike & Ride facility, providing secure and covered bicycle parking for more than 100 bicycles at the College Park Metro station.

The new Bike & Ride — the first of its kind for Metro — is a 2,400-square foot, secure, enclosed parking structure on the first level of the College Park station parking garage. The facility features bright LED lighting, security cameras, an emergency callbox and card-controlled access. Metro also installed a bike repair stand outside of the garage equipped with a variety of tools for the convenience of riders who may need to make quick bicycle repairs.

The College Park Bike & Ride is a pilot program and one element of a plan to improve bicycle access to Metro stations. By next summer, secure bicycle parking facilities will be built at Vienna and King Street. Metro intends to further expand the Bike & Ride initiative into District of Columbia, as well as additional Virginia and Maryland stations in the next five years.

In addition to providing secure bicycle parking at stations, Metro is working with the local jurisdictions and development partners to ensure safe and convenient access for bicyclists and pedestrians. Most customers arrive to a rail station by car, on foot or by bus. About 1% of Metrorail riders arrive at a station by bicycle.

Bike & Ride users will need an access card to enter the facility where they can secure their bikes to any of the bike racks inside. Parking fees — 5 cents an hour between 8 a.m. and midnight, and 2 cents an hour at all other times — are deducted from the card upon use. There are no monthly or annual fees. A one-time $5 charge is applied for new customer ID verification.

Friday, May 18, is “Bike to Work Day,” and Metro is encouraging bicyclists to ride their bikes to Metro as part of their commute. Riders can use the bike racks on Metrobuses, or park their bikes at a Metrorail station on their way to work. The event is sponsored by WABA and promotes bicycling as a clean, fun and healthy way to get to work.

In addition to the College Park Bike & Ride, which accommodates 120 bicycles, Metro has about 2,000 bicycle racks and an additional 1,270 key-operated bicycle lockers throughout the Metrorail system. All Metrobuses have racks attached at the front with space for two bicycles.

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