After a pandemic-related delay, more Capital Bikeshare stations are coming to Reston in July

It took longer than anticipated, but Capital Bikeshare is finally expanding in Reston, a move that has been in the works since August 2017.

The Fairfax County Department of Transportation will start installing 19 new stations throughout Reston in early July, FCDOT spokesperson Robin Geiger told Reston Now.

Previously expected to take place in early 2020, the expansion was stalled by the COVID-19 pandemic. It will more than double the size of the bicycle-sharing service in the area, which currently has 16 operating stations.

“We did have significant production delays as a result of the pandemic, affecting both bicycles and stations,” Geiger said. “…More information about the installation will be coming this summer.”

Funded by a $1 million federal Transportation Alternatives Program grant, the new stations will be located at:

  • Baron Cameron Avenue and North Hampton Avenue
  • Becontree Lane and Goldenrain Court
  • Fairway Drive and Hook Road
  • Golf Course Square and Golf Course Drive
  • Green Range Drive and Glade Drive
  • Inlet Court and Wiehle Drive
  • Lake Newport Road and Autumn Ridge Circle
  • Links Drive and Wedge Drive
  • North Village Road and Park Garden Lane
  • Olde Crafts Drive and Cartwright Place
  • Reston Parkway and Bennington Woods Road
  • Ridge Heights Road and Owl Cove Lane
  • Ridge Heights Road and Seahawks Drive
  • Ring Road and North Shore Drive
  • Soapstone Drive Convenience Center
  • South Gate Community Center
  • South Lakes Drive and Reston Parkway
  • Vantage Hill Road & Wainwright Drive
  • Wainwright Drive and North Shore Drive

Geiger says Fairfax County is still considering adding a station at Reston Community Center’s Hunter Woods facility, but that location could not be included in this phase because federal funding can’t support projects on private property.

The county joined Bikeshare in 2016, concentrating the 17 initial stations in Reston and Tysons to support Metro’s newly opened Silver Line Phase 1.

According to Geiger, the service was doing well prior to the pandemic, particularly in Merrifield, which was the site of its most recent expansion. Merrifield and Vienna are now slated to get 10 more stations.

Like other transportation services, though, Bikeshare saw a significant drop in usage due to COVID-19, with both ridership and membership taking hits as people limited travel and many started working from home.

“At its worst, early in the pandemic membership was around 20% of ridership when compared to past years,” Geiger said by email. “Most of the lost trips were by annual members who were commuting by bicycle.”

Fairfax County saw a 50% decrease in Bikeshare riders in 2020 overall compared to 2019.

Geiger says ridership levels did start to pick back up last summer, primarily from non-members, meaning people who were utilizing the service for a single trip or day instead of getting an ongoing subscription.

“Usage patterns systemwide changed as well, with fewer trips to Metro stations, but more to recreational locations, and grocery stores,” she said.

With the upcoming Bikeshare expansion, county officials hope to see a resurgence in usage as people return to public spaces and communal activities. One such activity could be coming to Reston, thanks to the impending bicycle stations.

“We plan to have an event celebrating the installation sometime this summer, probably in August,” Geiger said.

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