Bikeshare lands at BWI

Fancy some exercise on your next layover? Now you can go for a bike ride through an innovative new bikeshare programme at Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall airport (BWI).

Partnering with corporate bikeshare provider Zagster, the airport has 10 bikes available at a rate of $5 for 12h, $15 a month or $50 a year at a dock adjacent to its international terminal E and light rail station. The bikes are reservable through an app available for Android and Apple smartphones.

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Zagster bikeshare at BWI. Source: Twitter/@interestingname

“The bikes are a great way for travellers and employees to explore the BWI Trail and beyond,” says Paul Wiedefeld, chief executive of BWI, in a statement. “The new bike share program introduces a new convenient, affordable transportation option at BWI Marshall.”

While you cannot bike around the terminal complex, the dock provides easy access to the 20.1km (12.5 mile) BWI Trail that encircles the airport. A trail also good for the jogging-inclined traveller.

The new bikeshare does have its limits. The airport cannot provide luggage storage due to security concerns, BWI says, so best to check your bags if you want to go for a ride.

Also, with only the one dock at the airport, users cannot use the Zagster system to get to or from BWI.

Despite these issues, the idea has significant potential for airports. Fitness facilities, such as walking routes and yoga rooms, are increasingly popular additions at airports while bikeshare programmes are being rolled out in cities around the world. The two initiatives could be combined to provide passengers and employees with both fitness and access options at airports.

Ronald Reagan Washington National airport is a prime candidate. The airport sits just 1.6km from the closest existing Capital Bikeshare dock and is connected directly to the Mount Vernon Trail – already popular with cyclists and bikeshare users alike – via a path to a bike rack in the airport parking garage. A dock next to that rack would be an easy addition.

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Bike racks at Washington National by the author. Source: Twitter/@e_russell

San Francisco International is another possibility. The airport launched the free FlyCycle bikeshare programme for employees to use around the property in July 2012. Expanding this to passengers, or installing a Bay Area BikeShare dock, who could use the connected BayTrail would provide them with both fitness and access options.

The airport says that it has no plans to expand the programme to passengers currently but it does provide multiple bike facilities for cyclists throughout the property.

Washington National operator the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) was not immediately available for comment.

Other possible airport-bikeshare connections include London Heathrow, which already has marked cycling lanes on some of its perimeter roads, and Barclays Cycle Hire, or Seattle/Tacoma International and Pronto system sponsored by hometown Alaska Airlines.

Whether on bikeshare or your own two wheels, happy riding.

Updated with comments from San Francisco airport

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One Response to Bikeshare lands at BWI

  1. Mark J. 7 August, 2014 at 11:02 pm #

    Thanks for sharing. Great news. I used to live near BWI and loved riding the bike trail that circled the airport. Now I can come back to the area, rent an affordable bike and do the loop for planespotting and exercise. Good stuff. Kudos to BWI for taking a chance.

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