Prince George’s will be the latest in the Washington region to join the fast-growing network of 3,700 bikes. The county’s plan calls for 670 bikes and 67 stations to be phased in over the next few years.
The launch in early 2018 will include 40 bikes spread out across four stations at National Harbor and 250 bikes in 25 stations along the Route 1 communities.
Capital Bikeshare operates in the District and Alexandria, and Arlington, Montgomery and Fairfax counties.
Prince George’s officials say the plan is to expand within the county to other populated areas such as Greenbelt, College Park and Langley Park.
The communities that will first see the distinctive red bikes are in the Anacostia Trails Heritage area, which includes Mount Rainier, Hyattsville, Brentwood, Cottage City, Colmar Manon, and parts of Riverdale Park and Bladensburg. It will cost about $1.4 million to add bicycles to that area, county transportation spokeswoman Paulette Jones said in an email.
Installing the four bike stations at National Harbor will cost about $236,000. Visitors and residents in the waterfront community have been asking for access to the bike network, saying they can easily connect to bike stations across the Woodrow Wilson Bridge in Alexandria.
The county is paying for the bike equipment with federal and state grants. Once the program starts, officials say, the county will cover operating costs. But officials anticipate the county will recoup about 50 percent of the cost through memberships and user fees and the rest though advertising, municipal contributions and private sponsorship.
A feasibility study that was completed late last year identified those parts of the county as the most likely to have a successful program because of their proximity to existing Bikeshare stations. They also are near transit and job centers and have the population density and bike infrastructure in place.