Back in June, we speculated that UMD and the City of College Park would reapply with Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (MWCOG) to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s TIGER competitive grant program. Back in February, we noted that the MWCOG did not win the $10 million for bikeshare expansion that it had applied for through a federal stimulus program called TIGER. Apparently, both the university and city did jump on board for the TIGER II grant round that was due to the feds last Friday, August 20th. The new proposal requests more than $12 million to add 2,500 bikes (and 331 stations) regionwide to the nascent 1,100 bike (110 station) Capital Bikeshare program that DC and Arlington are unveiling next month. The new proposal includes a request for $306,000 for 56 bikes in College Park, 6 stations on campus, and 5 in the city including at least one at the College Park Metro (read the full proposal).
If the proposal is successful, you could start seeing implementation in College Park as early as March. Unfortunately, just like the first round of TIGER grants, the second round will be just as competitive and it’s extremely unlike any money will be awarded. No official numbers are out now that the final deadline has passed, but the July 16th pre-application brought in $26 billion worth of requests for $600 million in available funds. Still, we commend UMD and CP for joining this application and we hope they’ll continue to pursue the idea when the grant application ultimately fails.