Fairfax County to Seek $400K Grant For Reston Bikeshare

by Karen Goff October 21, 2015 at 9:30 am 14 Comments

Capital Bikeshare, Pentagon City, Arlington/Credit: Mario Roberto Duran Ortiz via Creative CommonsReston may be getting closer to a bikeshare system.

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday endorsed the county’s applications for the Virginia Department of Transportation’s FY 2017 Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) Grant Application.

The county hopes to get $400,000 from the state as seed money for bike share program. Other projects seeking funding are Vienna Metrorail bicycle access improvements; a cinder bed bike path near the Franconia-Springfield Metro station; and improvements for bike access on Van Dorn Street in Alexandria.

Applications for the grant program are due Nov. 1.

County biking authorities conducted a feasibility study on a Reston bikeshare in 2014. They will give an update on the progress of the bikeshare plan Oct. 29 at Dogwood Elementary School at 7 p.m.

Capital Bikeshare, which has suburban programs in Alexandria, Arlington, and Rockville, Md., would offer those who live and work in Reston an additional way to access the Wiehle-Reston East Metro station, as well as the future Reston Town Center station, Reston Town Center and other location.

The capital equipment needed for a Reston bikeshare station includes docking stations, bicycles and kiosks. The current projection is for 13 stations and 130 bicycles, which will cost about $766,000

The county will request $400,000 from TAP and pay $100,000 in county funds for the program. That would leave an additional $266,000 in funding necessary to get the program started.

The Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) guidelines state applicants are required to provide a 20 percent match, with grant awards covering the 80 percent remaining. Local jurisdictions are also required to pay for any cost overruns.

VDOT’s TAP regulations require the sponsoring jurisdiction to accept responsibility for future maintenance and operating costs of any projects that are funded.

Photo: Bikesharing in Arlington/ARLnow.com file photo

  • ConcernedCitizen

    Will there be safeguards in place to prevent or deter thefts? There has been a historical trend over the last 18-24 months where bikes are often stolen in the South Reston area. I would hate to see a government program be abused

    • GB

      While I’m not sure what it is, I’m sure that there is one. Capital Bikeshare has been operating in the District for several years and they also have a bike theft problem – but not of CaBi bikes.

  • JG

    so we have a shortfall in education but are looking for grants for bike shares?

    • Mike M

      We need more pedestrians and bikes on our very busy streets which were designed for cars. We need to pretend we live in the world of our fantasy, rather than the real world. That’s what we Reston Liberals need.

    • NotMyMOney

      It is not clear who would be funding the maintenance costs: federal, state, or local. It’s not clear who “local” is. I hope there will be a docking stations at the Tetra facility to allow easy access for all those revenue generating customers. Between the bike rentals and the facility rentals, our dues will surely plummet. I’m beginning to wish I had voted Yes.

    • Matt

      While I agree money spend on education is money well spend, it’s unlikely that VDOT would fund education….however, there is money available to improve transportation, and bikeshare is a great usage of those funds. I think they’re two separate issues entirely.

  • Grandpa Jack

    If you’re in a boxing match, try not to let the other guy’s glove touch your lips, because you don’t know where that glove has been.

  • cRAzy

    Just wondering how many passenger miles per year bike sharing will add to Reston. Would $400K be better spent somewhere else on transportation, Fairfax Connector, RIBS, ped walks and crossings?

  • Bruce Wright

    Bikeshare in Reston is a great idea. It will allow people exiting the Wiehle metro station who are headed to the Town Center to hop on a bike and ride there on the W&OD Trail in less than 15 minutes. No need to wait for the bus or hail a cab. They can then leave the bike in a station and not worry about it, and do the same on their way back to the station.

    Capital Bikeshare in DC is a huge success and provides a great alternative to driving or to transit. In fact it’s like personal transit. No need to own a bike; pay a small amount to use it when you need it. From the preceding comments, it sounds like some folks would rather get in their cars and sit in traffic and that’s their choice. I’d rather be moving on a bike.

  • quest4fire

    its too dangerous to ride a bike around Wiehle

  • Lake Anne Resident

    Bike rack for Lake Anne please!

  • Matt

    Bikeshare in Reston makes absolute sense. Reston was planned well, and because of that, has pretty great bike infrastructure and can easily connect with Herndon as well. However, having said that, there are other areas of Fairfax County that are far behind Reston in terms of bike infrastructure- on and off street. Reston is already doing fairly well on biking. You can look out your window if you live there, or just look around as you drive through, and you see people biking to and from work, to and from stores, etc.

    Other areas, Merrifield, Tysons, etc. could desperately use improved bike infrastructure to help get people out on bikes. Perhaps money might be better spent looking at those issues, as opposed to starting a pilot program in Reston for Bikeshare that will be years away from connecting to the DC region.

    If bikeshare is a must in Reston, why not explore other bikeshare providers/systems that could let Fairfax County maintain their own system rather than sign into a system that is expensive and produced by a company that went bankrupt just two years ago. On top of that, every decision made for Capital Bikeshare must be agreed on by Washington DC, Montgomery County, Arlington, and Alexandria already. It’s difficult to navigate those waters. Toss in Fairfax County and it starts to become a very complicated system.

    Meanwhile, cities like Baltimore are looking at providers like Zagster which come at a fraction of the cost but have proven equally successful around the country. College Park and the University of Maryland are teaming up to launch their own system provided by Zagster as well. Maybe it’s time to, at the very least, consider alternatives to the Capital Bikeshare empire and be thankful for its success in the DC region but recognize that at some point, it can become so large that it will be extremely difficult to oversee and maintain effectively.

    • Nyla J.

      Just because there is a bike lane on Soapstone, one on Lawyers, and a bike shop at RTC doesn’t mean that Reston is bike-friendly.

  • Nyla J.

    Get ready for an increase in horrible accidents involving bikes and cars. This is not a bike or pedestrian friendly community.


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