The Biden administration has revoked a Trump-era decision to keep bike-sharing off the White House grounds. The Capital Bikeshare station that was removed from the White House campus by the former administration because it was deemed a “security concern” is back in business.
In summer 2017, the Executive Office of the President requested that the D.C. Department of Transportation get rid of the rack because the “United States Secret Service has deemed the bike rack a security concern.” It was removed that August.
Local leaders say it is about time that workers at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. have the choice to get back on two wheels.
“The return of this docking station is just one more example of how we can work together to build back better,” Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) said in a statement. “We’re proud that Washington, DC is now one of the best cities in the nation for biking and that we have a growing population of people who bike to work — including the dedicated public servants who work at the White House.”
The station, which was originally requested by the Obama administration in 2010, can be used only by riders with access to the White House grounds. It is not visible in the Capital Bikeshare or Lyft mobile applications. Before it was removed, it got about 70 trips a month, according to DDOT data.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Officials at Lyft, which manages the regional bike system, said they worked with the Biden administration for months to return the bike-sharing location to the city’s top address as the nation’s capital seeks a return to normal while relying more on biking.
“Installing the Capital Bikeshare station back at the White House is an important symbol, setting an example for DC metro residents and people in cities around the country,” former U.S. transportation secretary Anthony Foxx, Lyft’s chief policy officer, said in a statement.
The White House station is one of dozens being added before the end of the year as the regional bike rental system expands. More than 60 stations are expected to be added this year, including hundreds of bikes across a network that covers the District, Alexandria and Falls Church, as well as Arlington, Fairfax, Montgomery and Prince George’s counties.
The District recently approved $19 million in a six-year plan to add 80 stations, and more than double the existing number of e-bicycles. With 330 stations, 2,500 pedal bikes and 600 electric bikes, D.C. has the largest share of stations and bikes in the regional system.
According to Lyft, ridership is picking up as more people return to pre-pandemic routes. Usage is up 30 percent this year compared to the same time in 2020. Growth is largely attributed to the use of single-trip fares and day passes.