The Bike & Ride in College Park spans 2,400 square feet on the first level of the Metro parking garage. It features bright environmentally-friendly LED lighting, security cameras, an emergency callbox, and card-controlled access. There is even a bike repair stand nearby with tools and an air pump for cyclists who need to make a quick fix.
Bike & Ride does not require a monthly or annual fee, but users must purchase a BikeLink™ access card for $20. Since the card arrives by mail, be sure to do this well in advance of your first planned trip to Bike & Ride. The first time you use your access card, $5 is deducted from your card to verify your identity using an embedded camera at the facility.
Once you insert and remove your verified card, the door to the Bike & Ride facility will unlock, allowing you to lock your bicycle inside. Rates are 5 cents per hour from 8 AM to midnight and 2 cents per hour at all other times. That 50 cent charge sure beats the $4.75 per day to park a car. Plus you get exercise!
Future Bike & Ride facilities are planned for the Vienna and King Street Metro stations. It is also expected that additional Bike & Ride centers will be built throughout the DC Metro system by 2017. But for now, the only other BikeLink facilities are in California, which could be a long ride.
If you don’t have a Bike & Ride near you, all Metro stations offer free bicycle racks. Plus, there are over 1,000 bicycle lockers available for rent at a cost of $120 per year at various Metro stations.
Be on the lookout for new facilities opening near you, so you can try out Bike & Ride.