Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Reduced introductory rates for Wiehle bike room approved by Board of Supervisors

Wiehle station bike room
Photo: David Madison
At their meeting on Oct. 29 the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors agreed to offer a reduced introductory rate for use of the Wiehle-Reston East Metrorail station bike room. The annual rate for use of the room is $75. The reduced rate will be $45 for the first year or $75 for the first two years.

Fairfax County is maintaining a waiting list for rental of the room. To put your name on the list write to bicycleprograms@fairfaxcounty.gov. Once there is a system in place the county will begin selling memberships.

Here is info from the Board meeting package (p. 155):
Approval of Reduced Introductory Rates for the Wiehle-Reston East Metrorail Station “Bike & Ride” Bike Room

Board approval of an introductory reduced rate for the bike room use/membership fee at the Wiehle-Reston East Metrorail Station.

RECOMMENDATION:The County Executive recommends the Board approve an introductory, reduced rate for earlier subscribers applying for membership to use the new bike storage room at the Wiehle-Reston East Metrorail Station.

BACKGROUND:The Reston-Wiehle East Metrorail Station will feature Fairfax County’s first enclosed, secure bicycle parking facility with a capacity for over 200 bicycles. In addition to secure fee parking, the facility will also provide unsecured (free) parking as well as area reserved for a future bikesharing station.

On July 30, 2013, the Board of Supervisors approved various rates for the new Wiehle- Reston East Metrorail Station, including the bike room rates. An annual membership fee of $75.00 was established. This includes a one-time fee of $15.00 (non-refundable) for the access key fob. This rate is comparable to rates for similar programs provided by both the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA).

In anticipation of the opening of the Silver Line and Wiehle-Reston East Metrorail Station transit facility, FCDOT has been exploring marketing strategies to encourage facility users to bike and walk to this station. One idea that staff would like to pursue is a reduced rate for early subscribers/members who purchase their subscriptions before March 1, 2014. The approved and proposed reduced rates are as follows:
  • Currently approved Annual Bike Room Membership - $75.00*
  • Early Registration Discounted Annual Membership Rate - $45.00*
  • Early Registration Two Year Bundle - $75.00*
    • The Early Registration Two Year Bundle will provide an opportunity for early subscribers to purchase an additional year membership for only $30.00 more.
  • Current (FCDOT) Bicycle Locker Renters at Sunset Hills Park-and-Ride Lot:
    • Bicycle locker renters at Sunset Hills Park and Ride Lot must relocate because the lot is closing when Wiehle-Reston East Metrorail Station opens. Due to this inconvenience, these users will be offered the early registration price and their current annual locker rental fee balance will be applied toward the new bike room membership fee. The fee balance will be based on the opening date of the Wiehle-Reston East Metrorail Station bike room. 
Applications received on March 1, 2014, or later will be charged the full annual membership.

*includes one-time $15.00 fee for the key fob (electronic access device)
We had hoped Fairfax County would offer an hourly rate similar to that used by WMATA at the College Park Bike & Ride facility. That options allows for occasional use of the room without a full year commitment. It also encourages overnight use by charging a lower rate from midnight to 8AM which allows commuters to leave their bike before catching the train to ride home, then retrieving it the next day. We still hope the county can eventually implement such a system that is compatible with WMATA's.

Update: See Connection article Bicycle Access Coming to Wiehle Station: Bicycle racks, lockers, equipment part of alternative access options.

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