By Helen Lyons
For The Diamondback
The University of Maryland and College Park will consider options for expanding their joint mBike bike-share amid interest from neighboring towns to be a part of the program, said Terry Schum, the city’s planning director.
“People have become aware of bike-share recently, and now that we’ve got it up and running here, they’re curious about it and think they might want to have it in their town,” Schum said.
The bike-share, which allows users to check out a bike at one station using an app and ride it to another, arrived in the city and on the campus in May.
Among those eager to join the bike-share are Greenbelt, Hyattsville, University Park, Riverdale Park and Brentwood.
“The bike-share program is being well-used,” said College Park Mayor Patrick Wojahn, who took part in the initiative to bring mBike to the city. “Prince George’s County is doing a study to look at how they can expand bike-share into more jurisdictions outside of College Park around the county.”
Describing cycling as “a more sustainable way to travel short distances,” Schum said mBike offers commuters another way to get around town, especially in congested areas such as the city.
MBike currently boasts 120 cruiser bikes and five accessible bikes at 14 stations in locations such as Regents Drive Garage, McKeldin Mall, Guilford Drive and the College Park Metro station. Seven stations are on the campus and seven are distributed throughout the city.
The original plan called for just 100 bikes, but the number was increased in response to high demand that is now coming from neighborhoods outside of the city.
“We’re looking at doing this strategically,” Wojahn said. “We want to think about where [future potential] stations make the most sense.”
A meeting is scheduled for the second week in July, and community leaders will discuss expanding the bike-share into other jurisdictions.