Best Bikeshare Station

Columbus Circle–Union Station

No Capital Bikeshare station shares its bikes more than the one at Union Station. From October through December of last year (the most recent span for which data is available), the station was involved in upward of 33,000 trips, averaging out to about 365 trips per day, and not in the warmest or most touristy of months. In that time, only two other stations reached 20,000 trips.

Few stations have such a solemn responsibility as this one. Nearby, the Metropolitan Branch Trail, the First Street NE cycletrack, and the thick network of bike lanes in Capitol Hill induce demand for biking. People rushing to catch a train out of town have good reason to doubt whether Metro’s fragile trains or the buses inching their way through Columbus Circle are likely to get them there as fast as they can pedal. But the number of Bikeshare stations in the immediate area is limited, as the vast and bike-friendly Capitol Grounds just south of Columbus Circle hasn’t proven itself eager to host Bikeshare stations.

During the years the streetcars were still idling in a barn, the Union Station Bikeshare station was doing what the the streetcar had long dreamt of doing: moving people along H Street NE. Eight of the nine most popular Bikeshare stations for connecting to Union Station were along H Street NE or within four blocks, accounting for roughly one-third of trips to and from Union Station.

Outside of the H Street area, the three most popular connections are three Metro stations—Smithsonian, L’Enfant Plaza, and Navy Yard—sparing travelers from having to ride not one but two Metro lines, a practice known to compound the risk of getting trapped in Metro’s misadventures.

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