The College Park City Council and University of Maryland signed an agreement with Capital Bikeshare last month allowing the company to build a station near the intersection of Guilford and Rowalt drives.
Capital Bikeshare, operated by Lyft, is a popular bike share service with stations in the Washington metro area.
The city and university both signed off on the agreement because the station would be on land partially owned by each entity.
Capital Bikeshare will serve a different purpose than the current Veo micromobility options, District 2 council member Susan Whitney said. While the Veo e-scooters and e-bikes function to bring people around the city, they don’t allow riders to leave the city. Capital Bikeshare will allow residents to leave the city to neighboring towns such as Hyattsville, the council member said.
The city council has been a long-time supporter of micromobility options in the city, according to District 3 council member John Rigg.
“It’s an important part of who we are as a city as an inner suburban community that values both mobility, but also values the earth,” Rigg said about micromobility.
Over the years, as the council discussed Veo ride services and previous micromobility service mBike, Capital Bikeshare was always in the back of their minds, Rigg said.
Capital Bikeshare works with county governments to decide where bike stations should be. The city council had to wait until Prince George’s County asked to bring the bike share program into College Park.
Alaina Pitt, a College Park resident, said she’s excited about the Capital Bikeshare station, but is concerned about the lack of protected bike lanes in the city. Pitt said while the city is stepping up to provide safe infrastructure for cyclists and pedestrians, the state and this university need to do their part.
The city is investing hundreds of thousands of dollars into adding bike lanes and has convinced the state highway administration to do the same, Rigg said. Whitney said she has heard concerns from cyclists and pedestrians about unsafe drivers and micromobility users.
“The city continues to work toward the safest possible pathways through the city for people using all kinds of locomotion,” Whitney said.
Pitt is also hoping for an additional College Park station so residents on the north end of the city can take advantage of the program.
At the College Park City Council meeting Tuesday, the council discussed adding a bicycle-pedestrian committee to address problems, such as infrastructure, faced by those who prefer to travel without a vehicle.