News & Politics

Capital Bikeshare Is Expanding to Fairfax County

Photograph via iStock.

UPDATE, 10/17: Capital Bikeshare will finally debut in Fairfax County on Friday, with 15 stations in Reston and 14 in Tysons, the bike-rental system announced. The Reston stations are clustered around the Wiehle-Reston East station on the Silver Line and Reston Town Center, with access to the Washington & Old Dominion bike trail. The Tysons stations are located around the community’s four Metro stations, shopping malls, and office parks. Fairfax and Bikeshare officials will hold ribbon-cutting events in both towns on Friday afternoon.

The bulky, red bicycles of Capital Bikeshare will hit roads in Fairfax County this fall with the installation of more than two dozen stations and more than 200 bikes throughout Reston and Tysons, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors announced Tuesday. Bikeshare’s expansion into Fairfax, which has been talked about for nearly two years, became official with officials’ approval of a $1.7 million plan to upgrade the county’s previously lacking bike infrastructure.

Under the funding approved Tuesday, Bikeshare will install 15 stations and 132 bikes around Reston, and 11 stations with 80 bikes around Tysons to start. While the stations’ exact locations won’t be determined for a while, they are likely to be anchored around the five Metro stations in Reston and Tysons that have sparked massive redevelopments of those communities from suburban sprawl to dense, mixed-use projects built around public transit.

The Fairfax County Board last month approved the construction of 31 bicycle and pedestrian projects in Reston and Herndon, which are part of a thirty-year plan to eventually create 1,000 miles of signed bike paths. While two-wheeled die-hards might be the most immediately excited about Fairfax’s bicycle goals, it’s a component in the county’s longterm agenda to turn its Metro corridor into a city-like environment where transportation needs are satisfied by options other than individual cars.

“More people are living and working in these areas than ever before,” Fairfax Board Chairman Sharon Bulova says in a press release. “‘Downtown’ areas by definition are not designed to accommodate high volumes of car traffic and parking.”

The press release also bills Bikeshare as something to “attract the younger ‘creative class’ that fuel[s] an innovation economy.” Millennial-facing aphorisms aside, the Fairfax Board is investing in Capital Bikeshare much more heavily than it originally intended—the plans floated in 2014 and 2015 only outlined installation in Reston.

Bikeshare is also continuing to grow throughout the Washington area. The District last October announced plans to grow its portion of the system by nearly 50 percent over the next three years, adding 99 new stations and 735 more bikes.

Staff Writer

Benjamin Freed joined Washingtonian in August 2013 and covers politics, business, and media. He was previously the editor of DCist and has also written for Washington City Paper, the New York Times, the New Republic, Slate, and BuzzFeed. He lives in Adams Morgan.