Right now, there isn’t bikeshare in Prince George’s County outside of a small system in College Park. But that could change, as the county recently wrapped up a study on what kind of system should come in (spoiler: it’ll be Capital Bikeshare) and where its stations could go.
Capital Bikeshare in Prince George’s? It could be there this time next year. All images from Prince George’s county unless otherwise noted.
Following a lengthy study, Prince George’s officials are recommending that the county add a bikeshare system to the ATHA region, which extends along the Anacostia River Tributaries from Colmar Manor north to Greenbelt and west to Langley Park. It is also recommended to include bikeshare in the National Harbor region, near the Woodrow Wilson Bridge linking Prince George’s County with Alexandria. These are the areas where there’s the most demand for bikeshare (to determine this, planners look at variables like a place’s population density and age, proximity to transit and existing bike facilities, and topography).
You can see projected demand for part of Prince George’s on the heat map below (and the entire county if you click the map), with the lighter parts being where it’s highest:
Based on the study’s results, those making the recommendations for the county decided to start small, with 25 stations in the ATHA region in neighborhoods near the DC border as well as four at National Harbor. The idea is for the system to eventually grow to 67 stations, expanding outward to Greenbelt, Langley Park, and Bladensburg, among other areas. Specific station locations haven’t been identified yet— that’ll be up to what local groups tell the county further down the line.
This map shows how bikeshare could come to Prince George’s in phases:
Going this route rather than installing all the stations at once will allow Prince George’s to manage its resources, but this is just a preliminary plan. When it actually moves on bikeshare, Prince George’s could choose to build more stations within the preliminary area, expand to other areas, or do something else entirely.
The decision to go with Capital Bikeshare
mBike, another bike share program, currently operates in College Park; it’s currently Prince George’s only bikeshare system. Although mBike is not directly compatible with the recommended Capital Bikeshare, the county envisions a blended system where mBike continues to serve local trips while CaBi would serve users traveling elsewhere.
A similar blended system exists in Columbus, Ohio, where Columbus provides a dock based bike share system called COGO while the Ohio State University, which is located in town, provides its own bike share service utilizing a bike based technology.
Ideally, the Prince George’s bikeshare program would begin in the fall of 2017.