A new Capital Bikeshare station is slated to arrive at Reagan National Airport sometime next year, officials say.
County and airport officials say they’ve agreed on a site adjacent to a parking garage, near Terminal B, for the Bikeshare station. The plan is now awaiting final approval from the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT).
Officials scouted the location for its proximity to the Mt. Vernon Trail, which they hope will make connecting to the airport easier for cyclists.
“I know it’s been on the books since 2014 when I joined BikeArlington,” said Henry Dunbar, who heads the organization in charge of local Capital Bikeshare stations. “So it’s always been on the back burner, but we’re now really committed to it.”
Dunbar said Arlington is currently home to 92 Capital Bikeshare stations. The new station is part of Bike Arlington’s plan to add six more stations countywide, as well as a few dozen new bikes.
Funding for all the new stations comes from a 2014 grant from the Federal Highway Administration’s Federal Lands Access Program. Dunbar says VDOT needs to approve the final equipment purchases this year, which he hopes will allow construction to begin in 2020.
“The approvals for this project’s award are being worked through this month,” said VDOT spokeswoman Jenni McCord, who added that the state agency is working with eh county to ensure that the station complies with federal standards like environmental requirements.
The project already has the greenlight from the airport itself.
“We have been pursuing the establishment of a bike facility for quite some time,” said MWAA spokesman Robert Yingling. “The only thing left to do is establish an agreement on how the site is constructed.”
The airport has several racks for people to park privately-owned bikes. But some racks are currently inaccessible due to the on-going construction replacing the dreaded 35X gate and adding a new security screening area.
It’s not clear how many people would use the future Bikeshare station. Yingling pointed out many travelers have luggage which wouldn’t fit on a bike. But Dunbar is optimistic that light-packing travelers will want take advantage of a cheap commute that avoids the area’s frequent traffic headaches.
“There are also thousands of people who go to the airport every day who work there,” he said.
Yingling added that, “for most airports it’s not practical to have a bicycle station on campus.” But he noted DCA is special: the Arlington airport is located in an urban area, with connections to nearby trails.
“As far as I know, it’s the first one for a U.S. airport,” said Dunbar of the upcoming station.
Map via Google Maps/Bike Arlington