Thursday, May 17, 2012

College Park "Bike 'N Ride" station opens

Bike parking at Metro stations has improved over the years. Inverted U racks have replaced the older Type III or Rally Racks at most stations. However, at places like Vienna there aren't enough racks and they are located outdoors. Bike theft at Metro stations is rampant. Bike lockers but the take up lots of space and are expensive to rent.

Yesterday WMATA opened their first Bike & Ride station at the College Park-U of MD Metro Station. Users gain access to the secure enclosed area using a BikeLinkā„¢ card that can be purchased online. Inside the facility are U racks and an experimental double-decker rack. Bikes are locked up once parked at a rack.

BikeLinkā„¢ cards cost $20 and have $20 of rental value stored on them. The cost of using the space is very reasonable, 5 cents per hour 8 am - midnight, 2 cents/hour all other times. With the lower overnight fees it's feasible to leave your bike overnight.

Check out this video featuring Justin Antos of WMATA's Office of Long Range Planning as he demonstrates using the facility:

What's especially exciting about this facility is that similar parking is planned for the Vienna and King Street stations. According to WMATA's bicycle parking census, more bikes were parked at the Vienna station than any other in the system. Kudos to WMATA for developing the system and helping bicyclists find secure, covered parking.

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