Tuesday, January 16, 2007

New "Transit Center" Coasts into Union Station


The latest sleek new building in DC may not feature stainless steel appliances, but it will make stealing a bit harder and in turn please many metro commuters who rely on their foot power rather than gas to get to work in the morning. The DC Transportation Department is getting ready to break ground at Union Station this Summer on a new, modern bicycle "storage, rental and repair facility" – formally called The Union Station Bicycle Transit Center – thus making this Capitol Hill location a new hub for bikers and hopefully encouraging a new generation of pedaling commuters. The attractive $2 million glass-and steel bike station, modeled after similar structures in San Francisco and Seattle, will be constructed on the northwest side of Union Station, and compliment this historic building; the US Commission of Fine Arts is expected to approve the final design later this month. The Bicycle Transit Center will hold up to 150 bicycles inside and 30 outside (plus the repair facilities), with only a $1 fee to store a bike. There will also be a limited number of memberships and monthly passes sold, allowing 24-hour access and discounted storage rates. Construction is expected to be completed in Spring 2008.

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