Cycling a popular alternative to Metro maintenance hassles

FILE -- Cycling is becoming an increasingly popular mode of transportation in D.C. (WTOP/Max Smith, File)
FILE — Cycling is becoming an increasingly popular mode of transportation in D.C. (WTOP/Max Smith, File) (WTOP/Max Smith)
The National Mall area now has a total of nine BikeShare stations with three new additions Tuesday at Henry Bacon Drive and Lincoln Memorial Circle, Independence Avenue and 17th Street, and Madison Drive and 4th Street. (Courtesy Capital BikeShare)
The National Mall area now has a total of nine BikeShare stations with three new additions Tuesday at Henry Bacon Drive and Lincoln Memorial Circle, Independence Avenue and 17th Street, and Madison Drive and 4th Street. (Courtesy Capital BikeShare) (Courtesy Capital BikeShare)
This nearly empty BikeShare station on Henry Bacon Drive along the mall suggests the service is popular with tourists as well as locals. (Courtesy National Park Service)
This nearly empty Capital Bikeshare station on Henry Bacon Drive along the mall suggests the service is popular with tourists as well as locals. (Courtesy National Park Service) (Courtesy National Park Service)
George Panterov of NW says this BikeShare station on Wisconsin Avenue near National Cathedral is so popular that no bikes are available some mornings. (WTOP/Kristi King)
George Panterov of NW says this Capital Bikeshare station on Wisconsin Avenue near National Cathedral is so popular that no bikes are available some mornings. (WTOP/Kristi King) (WTOP/Kristi King)
This personal bike station at Wisconsin and Idaho Avenues NW was nearly full Wednesday evening. (WTOP/Kristi King)
This personal bike station at Wisconsin and Idaho Avenues NW was nearly full Wednesday evening. (WTOP/Kristi King) (WTOP/Kristi King)
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FILE -- Cycling is becoming an increasingly popular mode of transportation in D.C. (WTOP/Max Smith, File)
The National Mall area now has a total of nine BikeShare stations with three new additions Tuesday at Henry Bacon Drive and Lincoln Memorial Circle, Independence Avenue and 17th Street, and Madison Drive and 4th Street. (Courtesy Capital BikeShare)
This nearly empty BikeShare station on Henry Bacon Drive along the mall suggests the service is popular with tourists as well as locals. (Courtesy National Park Service)
George Panterov of NW says this BikeShare station on Wisconsin Avenue near National Cathedral is so popular that no bikes are available some mornings. (WTOP/Kristi King)
This personal bike station at Wisconsin and Idaho Avenues NW was nearly full Wednesday evening. (WTOP/Kristi King)

WASHINGTON — Cycling as an alternative transportation mode is proving especially popular since Metrorail’s aggressive maintenance plan began last week.

“After a week of single tracking along the Orange/Silver Line between Ballston and East Falls Church, automated counters in the county’s Rosslyn-Ballston corridor show an increase of between 70 and 90 percent in bike ridership from the same period last year,” said Eric Balliet, spokesman for Arlington County Transportation.

Use of the local rent-a-bike service Capital Bikeshare is up between 20 and 50 percent in Arlington.

Overall bike use in the District is also up. 42 percent more cyclists are using the Key Bridge, for example, between the city and North Arlington.

Capital Bikeshare numbers in D.C. are at a record high and up six percent. The service will be adding additional morning Corral Service near Farragut Square and at the Eastern Market Metro station during the second surge of Metrorail maintenance.

Capital Bikeshare’s new popularity corresponds with a new price structure that allows one-way trips of up to 30 minutes for $2.

The service is a partnership among D.C.’s Department of Transportation, BikeArlington, the City of Alexandria and Montgomery County.

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