Fairfax County board paves way for Capital Bikeshare

WASHINGTON — Capital Bikeshare is on track to come to Fairfax County within a year or two, as the county moves forward with plans to buy the needed equipment, and improve bike and road infrastructure elsewhere.

The Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to support grant applications for the purchase of 130 Bikeshare bikes and about 250 docks. The grants would fund progress on new bike routes, make it easier to get to Ft. Belvoir from the Franconia-Springfield Metro and VRE stations, and improve access to the Van Dorn Street Metro station.

Separately, the board took steps to direct $10 million toward planned road widening projects for Route 1 and Route 28.

Adam Lind, bike program manager of the Fairfax transportation department, is working to build the needed infrastructure for the bikeshare stations. The new grant, which the county hopes will be approved next year, would go to purchasing the actual equipment needed.

There’s no specific date for the system to be in place. Lind hopes it can be done toward the end of 2016 or early 2017.

The initial 13 stations would connect the Wiehle-Reston East Metro station to the Reston Town Center area and hospital, and several other nearby locations, like The Spectrum shopping center.

“The ultimate plan is to continue to grow the system as the Silver Line moves out west, and additionally we are exploring the options of moving out toward Merrifield and Tysons in the future,” Lind said.

He cites the bankruptcy of the initial company behind the Capital Bikeshare bikes as one reason the Reston system is on its current timeline.

“There was a concern about what was going to happen to the system, so we took some time internally to evaluate not only Capital Bikeshare, but some of the other systems that were out there,” Lind said. “But once Capital Bikeshare got back on its feet financially, we felt it’s in the best interest of the county to have a system that integrates with the rest of the region.”

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