Cycling Into Fairfax

Photo courtesy of Ben Schumin/Wikipedia

Capital Bikeshare considers extending service to Mason


For the many locals who drive to work or school every day, the New York-based Motivate created a Washington D.C., branch called Capital Bikeshare. The bicycle rental system, which is located in major cities, offers a healthy and environmentally friendly way to commute that may take less time than walking.

According to their website, in the month of September alone, 326,029 trips were taken using Capital Bikeshare in Washington D.C. This popularity has led Motivate to consider extending the program further into Fairfax County. Locations already opened in Reston and Tysons in October 2016.

If Capital Bikeshare does expand into the Mason area, students and staff will be able to use it on the Fairfax campus. Reducing traffic and the pollution it creates could be significant benefits for the area.

But would Mason students actually use the bike system?

For those who live in the county but off-campus, Capital Bikeshare would provide another way of getting to school. It would also offer students who live on-campus an alternative form of transportation without the schedule constraints that come with public transit.

For freshmen without cars, like Jendaya Williamson, leaving campus can currently present a problem.

“Bus transportation is occasionally unreliable,” Williamson said, “so this will help me go places, since it is more efficient.”

Despite the benefits that would accompany this expansion, it is questionable whether or not the bike system would be an affordable option for the average student. According to their pricing plan, $2 Single Trip riders can ride up to 30 minutes.

Leo Rivoal, a senior who lives off-campus and walks to school daily, tries to be thrifty.

“Money is why I do not own a car, so spending money on these bikes doesn’t seem worth it,” Rivoal said.

While this extension of Capital Bikeshare could be beneficial for both the county and Motivate, it will ultimately be up to Mason students and faculty whether or not they spend money on the program here in Fairfax.