County officials celebrate expansion of Capital Bikeshare in Reston

Members of the Fairfax County Department of Transportation and the Southgate Community Center officially welcomed 19 new Capital Bikeshare stations to Reston yesterday (Tuesday).

“The expansion gives many more people in Reston easy access to bike share stations, like the one…at the South Gate Community Center,” Hunter Mill District Supervisor Walter Alcorn said at the ribbon-cutting ceremony. “They especially provide more access south of the Dulles toll road where it is needed.”

The newest installation more than doubles the number of stations in Reston, which had 16 existing locations.

The Capital Bikeshare program originally launched in Reston in 2016. By 2019, the area saw 7,800 bike-share trips, though the COVID-19 pandemic led to a dip in rides in 2020, when there were only 4,400 trips.

“2021 Bikeshare trips are rebounding, and the people are already riding bikes from the newly installed locations,” according to Alcorn.

Among the new locations, the bicycles on Seahawk Drive and Ridge Heights Road have been getting the most use.  The Southgate Community Center is getting lots of use as well, landing in the top four most-used of the new sites.

Alcorn did note that the program is still working on choosing ideal locations.

“This is a work in progress,” he said. “This is something we’re learning as we go, and frankly, as people in the community make their choices on where to use these things and when to use them we will adapt and support accordingly.”

Capital Bikeshare locations are chosen with specific criteria in mind. In order to host a new Bikeshare station, a site should be:

  • A trip generator — a place that people will be traveling to and from
  • A community center or shopping center
  • In or near development density
  • In proximity to transit for those who want to bike from home to their transit to work
  • An equitable location to serve those who want to bike but may not have a bicycle of their own
  • In a sunny spot for the solar panels

Alcorn also mentioned that most stations are put on the street in existing public parking spots to save time and money in creating the location.

Fairfax County is already working on another expansion in the Vienna and Merrifield area.

“The future is bright for Capital Bikeshare in Fairfax County,” Alcorn said. “The system throughout the National Capital region has more than 600 locations so far. We are going to continue to expand Bikeshare in the county with planned, grant-funded locations in the Providence District and building on what we have in the Merrifield area in Tysons. This program is one way that Fairfax County is innovating to find new ways for people to get around.”

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