College Park Metro offers bike-and-ride option

Metro says that only about 1 percent of riders get to stations by bicycle, but for those who commute on two wheels to the College Park station, their investment is getting a new layer of protection.

On Tuesday, WMATA opened a bike-and-ride facility at the station, which sits about a mile east of the University of Maryland Campus. The 2,400-square-foot facility designed to provide secure, covered and inexpensive parking for 120 bicycles.

"It's very easy, accessible, secure and a great way to come to our station," Metro Deputy GM Carol Kissal says.

For an average of 50 cents to park a bike at the College Park station each day, Metro hopes riders will begin biking to the station on a more regular basis. The station already has a large, multi-story parking garage on site, which costs $4.25 per day to park at.

Parking your bike at the College Park bike-and-ride, which is the first of its kind in the system, will cost five cents per hour between 8 a.m. and midnight. That price drops to just two cents per hour overnight.

"It's a very cost-effective way to get to our systems for rides," Kissal said, adding that it falls in line with WMATA's goal to triple ridership by 2020.

Kissal hopes that the new facility will give cyclists peace of mind when they stash their bikes in College Park before getting on the Green Line. The facility is equipped with 24-hour surveillance, card-controlled access and abundant lighting. Bikes are also protected from a wide range of weather conditions.

"Your bike is protected from the elements and you don't have to put so much in the maintenance of the machine," cyclist Philip Koopman said. "Plenty of people have thousand-dollar bikes that they ride around every day."

Metro is hoping that this facility is the first of several across the rail system. The agency says it plans to open similar facilities at the Vienna-Fairfax and King Street stations by next summer, with more to come over the next five years.

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