|Bikeshare trips to and from Arlington. Image: BikeArlington|
Over the past year, the county's BikeArlington staff solicited public feedback both online and in person, surveyed local stakeholders including agencies, businesses, and users, and based on the results laid out scenarios for growth for the system over the next six years.
"Capital Bikeshare is an integrated part of the transportation fabric in the Washington D.C. region, and it should be treated as such," Chris Eatough, program manager for the county's BikeArlington program, which oversaw the plan, wrote in a column published by Mobility Lab, Arlington's transportation innovation branch.
|Existing Arlington bikeshare stations. Image: BikeArlington|
In one growth scenario, the report outlines what Arlington can do with existing funding to grow and maintain the system.
According to the report, with existing funding, Arlington would grow most in 2013, adding 40 stations, three through "external sponsorships" and the rest with transportation grants and other funding. New stations will "build out" the system in Shirlington and South Arlington, along Columbia Pike east of the Washington and Old Dominion trail.
Pending approval by the National Park Service (NPS) and the Department Defense, stations will also pop up at Arlington National Cemetery and the Pentagon. More stations will go into neighborhoods to create connections between the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor and Columbia Pike, as well as between Crystal City and Shirlington.
Beyond Existing Funding: Big Demand for Lots of New Stations
|Funded Arlington bikeshare growth. Image: BikeArlington|
Currently, bikeshare gets operating revenue from fares and from station sponsorships. However, the report estimates continuing operating deficits, and suggests opening up bikeshare station panels to advertising sales, but Arlington County would first have to change its policy against on-street advertising.
According to the report, the system gets $200,000 in capital revenue from Arlington County vehicle decal fees. In the past and for 2013, the system has gotten funding from a federal program called Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ), though the continuity of that program is uncertain beyond 2013.
What Comes Next
Next, according to Eatough, the plan goes to the State of Virginia to be considered for transportation funding.
In the meantime, the plan lays out 15 ambitious performance measures that Arlington will monitor to keep an eye on how well things are going with its plan for growing its bikeshare, as well as other more abstract things like sustainability, safety, health, and bicycle culture. Those performance measures include the ratio of Alrington's bikeshare miles traveled to total vehicle miles traveled, helmet use, crash rates, even average calories burned per trip.
The county is also still accepting public suggestions for future stations with its crowdsourcing map.