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Cyclists Can Sign Up to Use D.C. Bike Station

The long-awaited Bicycle center on the west side of Union Station is scheduled to open early next month, and bikers can register now, for a fee, to use it.

Here's a link to the Bikestation sign-up page. This is operated by the Bikestation network, which has been operating bike parking centers in urban areas on the West Coast. Memberships and round the clock access will cost $30 a month, or $96 a year, plus a $20 annual administrative fee. You'll get a membership card in the mail.

The center's design is very modern and sleek. Travelers who haven't been watching the construction of the steel and glass building during the past year might think the space ship from "The Day the Earth Stood Still" took a wrong turn at the Mall and parked next to the train station.

In addition to secure parking for about 130 bicycles, the Bikestation also includes a changing room, lockers, bike rental, bike repair and retail sales. Commuters could take Metro, MARC, VRE or Amtrak to Union Station, then walk outside, pick up the bike and cycle the rest of the way to work.

While the memberships are handled by the national Bikestation network, a bike rental and tour company, Bike and Roll, will operate the center and will provide the rentals, repairs, retail, and daily parking.

The Bikestation will be staffed from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends. But members can get to their bikes any time. There's more information about the center on this fact sheet put out by the District Department of Transportation, which funded the $4 million cost of the project along with the Federal Highway Administration.

By Robert Thomson  |  September 21, 2009; 5:49 PM ET
Categories:  Biking  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, Union Station bike transit center, cycling  
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But how do I get from my home to the Metro, MARC, VRE or Amtrak station? By bike? No, wait, it's at the Bikestation in Union Station! So do I need two bikes? Or should I take my bike with me on the train/bus? Or do I bike all the way to DC? No good options here...which leads me to conclude that this $4 million project may not generate the desired social benefit...

Posted by: gba73 | September 24, 2009 12:01 PM | Report abuse

you're right, gba! Normally cyclists ride from home TO the train station, leave their bikes and then board a train to the city, returning home with their bikes AFTER work. Smart work it 'aint! But bike rentals may suffice, as they reportedly do in Velib in Paris. Or, since the facility is already there, mightn't they just leave their bikes at Union station for the night? D.C. is where they wanna ride, after all. I'm guessing that Baltimorians, Virginians and Marylanders prefer parking their car at their local train station, thus saving expensive parking fares in downtown D.C. ... ?
If it were up to me then Bikestation would be elsewhere, somewhere along Watergate, the Mall or maybe an even more touristic location - right next to the statue of Ghandi (assuming he wouldn't strangle me first!), in close proximity with a Metro station

Posted by: kommonman | September 25, 2009 3:45 AM | Report abuse

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