Arlington to double Capital Bikeshare service

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Photo - Capital Bikeshare bikes (Examiner file photo)
Capital Bikeshare bikes (Examiner file photo)
Local,Transportation,Liz Essley

Arlington will double the size of its Capital Bikeshare program by next summer.

The county, which will have 52 bike-sharing stations by the end of fall, will install 39 stations in the next few years, 33 of them by next summer. But county planners now want to add between 57 and 115 additional stations, based on demand and available funding.

"The ultimate vision is to get Bikeshare woven into the transportation fabric throughout Arlington and the region," said Chris Eatough, program manager of BikeArlington. "There are residents asking for it in new areas. ... It keeps us motivated to expand."

Planners want most of the 39 new stations placed in south Arlington, along Columbia Pike, in Shirlington, at Arlington National Cemetery and at the Pentagon.

And after those 39 are installed, county planners expect to add bike stations in East Falls Church and Lee Highway, plus areas that already have some, such as Crystal City and Rosslyn.

The county already has the money for the initial expansion, througha combination of federal funds, revenues from a car decal fee and commissions on commuter train tickets sold on the county's website.

But raising enough cash for 115 more stations will require some new fundraising efforts. Eatough said the county is considering ways to get businesses to sponsor bikes stations, possibly by selling ads on map panels or branding the bikes themselves.

Capital Bikeshare user fees only make up about 63 percent of the money used to run the system.

Arlington isn't alone in expanding its bike-sharing network. Montgomery County has plans to install its first stations by spring, and Alexandria built its first stations in August.

lessley@washingtonexaminer.com

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