Bicycling Information for Faculty, Staff and Commuters
Benefits of Biking to Work
There are many benefits to riding your bike to work:
- Save Money: Riding to Georgetown costs less than driving or taking transit, especially if you already own a bike
- If you ride the Metrobus to and from Georgetown, you can save $512-$800 per year by biking
- If you ride the Metro to and from Georgetown, you can save $672-$2,875 per year by biking
- If you ride the Circulator to and from Georgetown, you can save $320-$500 per year by biking
- If you drive to and park at Georgetown, you can save $3,348 -$3,521 (not including car payments) per year by biking
- Stay Healthy: Riding to Georgetown can help you stay in shape and reduce your healthcare costs
- A five-mile commute each way burns 300 calories round trip
- According to the CDC, people who bike to work typically save 5-12% annually on healthcare costs
- Feel Better: People who bike to work arrive with less stress than those who commute by automobile, and report feeling relaxed and more alert after arriving at work
Bicycling to and from Georgetown
Common Myths about Bicycling to Work
I can’t ride to Georgetown in my work clothes
Cycling in full or partial office attire is often feasible, especially if your trip is relatively short or you maintain a moderate pace. Even in the summer, it is seldom very hot in the early morning.
However, if you don’t want to cycle in your suit, you can also bring your work clothes with you in a backpack or garment bag that attaches to your bike and change once you get to Georgetown.
Rolling your clothes instead of folding is a great way to reduce wrinkling.
In addition, Yates Field House offers discounted access to their showers and locker rooms for bicycle commuters (more info, below).
I can’t ride to work in the winter
Cycling, like all exercise, warms you up, so with the right clothing, commuting by bike in the winter can be comfortable.
Wear a thin, wicking layer against your skin, with an insulating layer over that. Your hands, head, and feet tend to cool down faster than the rest of your body, so make sure that you wear gloves, ear warmers or balaclavas, and warm socks. Yates Field House offers discounted access to their showers and locker rooms for bicycle commuters if you don’t want to change in your office (see below).
Bicycling is unsafe
Washington, DC has taken significant steps in the past few decades to improve safety for bicyclists in the city. In fact, Washington DC is rated a Silver-level Bicycle Friendly Community (new window) by the League of American Bicyclists (LAB).
By following traffic rules and wearing a helmet, bicyclists can avoid 90% of all bicycle-related injuries. According to one study, the health benefits from bicycling to work outweigh the traffic safety risk by a factor of 20 to 1.
If you have concerns about safe cycling, you can take a commuter cycling class on campus with a LAB-certified instructor! See below for details.
I live too far away to ride to Georgetown
The average bicycle commute in the Metro DC area is 6 miles. According to the 2013 Georgetown MyCommute survey, some Georgetown employees commute to Georgetown from as far as 15 miles away.
If you’d like to try biking to work but are unsure of how to get here, you can always test out the route on a weekend when you don’t have to be at the office at a specific time!
What if I have to get home in an emergency?
Sometimes you have to get somewhere in an emergency. The Commuter Connections Guaranteed Ride Home Program provides free emergency rides home to people who bicycle or take other alternative transportation to work at least twice a week.
To read more about this program or sign up, visit www.commuterconnections.org
Learning to Ride Safely
As you commute to Georgetown by bike, make sure that you stay safe by following these simple rules:
- Obey all traffic laws: bicycles are vehicles too and must obey the rules of the road
- Know the bicycle laws: visit WABA’s website to stay informed on laws in the metro DC area
- Use lights at night: a white light in front and a red reflector or light in the back
- Always wear a helmet: if all else fails, your helmet will help protect you
In addition, the University offers free monthly bicycle commuter classes for those interested in learning more about how they can stay safer and build confidence riding to Georgetown. Find classes and sign up here.
Finding a Route
Georgetown University is located in one of the most bikeable cities in the United States and is connected to the wider DC metro area by a network of trails and on-street bike routes. Below is a list of some nearby cities and their distance from Georgetown via bicycle trails:
- From downtown Bethesda: 7.5 miles (30 to 45 minutes) via the Capital Crescent Trail
- From downtown Arlington: 4 miles (15 to 25 minutes) via the Custis Trail
- From downtown Alexandria: 8.8 miles (35 to 55 minutes) via the Mt. Vernon Trail
- From Union Station: 5 miles (20 to 30 minutes) via the Rock Creek Parks Trail
Ride The City DC is an online route finding service for bicyclists.
And remember: If you’d like to try biking a new route to work, we recommended testing the route on a weekend! It’s a great way to enjoy a day outdoors while learning the ins and outs of your new commute.
Capital Bikeshare is a regional bicycle sharing initiative that allows members to rent bicycles from conveniently-located stations throughout the District of Columbia region and park them at any other station in the system. The nearest Capital Bikeshare station to campus is conveniently located right outside our front gates at 37th and O Streets.
Georgetown faculty and staff are eligible for a discounted first year of Capital Bikeshare membership. To take advantage of this opportunity, contact the Office of Faculty and Staff Benefits by emailing email@example.com or calling 202-687-2500.
For more information about Capital Bikeshare, visit www.capitalbikeshare.com
LimeBike is the newest addition to GU’s offerings of affordable, sustainable transportation options. LimeBike bikeshare eliminates docking stations, creating a broadly distributed system, with bikes that are more accessible and affordable. Sign up with your georgetown.edu email account and pay only 50 cents per 30-minute time block, a discount from the regular $1 rate. You can find one of the bright green bikes at 12 pick-up locations across the Main Campus.
Bicycles on GUTS & WMATA
Georgetown University has made multi-modal commuting (bike + bus) convenient though the placement of bicycle racks on all university-owned GUTS buses. Commuters can use the bicycle racks on the front of the buses to help break up a longer commute to and from Georgetown.
The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) also has bicycle racks on the front of all metrobuses and Circulator buses, and allows limited access on metrorail with a bike. More information on how to use the metrobus bike racks can be found here. Although bikes are not allowed on metrorail during peak hours (7-10am and 4-7pm, M-F), they can be brought on the metro at any other time. Employees who commute from northeast of Washington can take advantage of the Bike & Ride parking facility at the College Park-UMD Station for just pennies an hour. More about this Bike and Ride Facility can be found here.
For more information about LimeBike, visit LimeBike.com.
End of Commute Facilities on campus
There are currently over 1,000 bicycle parking spaces on Georgetown’s campus. Covered bicycle parking is available in Garage 4 (under the Hariri Building) and in the Southwest and Leavey Garages. Please use the following map to locate the bike rack closest to your destination:
Yates Field House offers faculty and staff who commute to Georgetown by bike free access to its locker rooms and showers, as well as paid access to towel service and locker rentals. The price structure as of May 2016 is:
- Access to locker rooms and showers only – Free
- Access to locker room and showers with rental of half locker – $10/mo
- Access to locker room and showers with towel service – $16/mo
- Access to locker room and showers with towel service and rental of half locker – $26/mo
The cost of membership can be deducted directly from an employee’s paycheck.
To sign up, visit the main office of Yates during business hours.
For more information, please contact Yates Field House (202-687-2400).
Locking Your Bike Securely
Always lock your bike to a bike rack using a U-Lock. Please do not lock your bike to trees, fences, or signposts.
To lock your bike securely, make sure that your U-Lock goes through your frame and at least one wheel. For added security, you can use a secondary cable lock to lock your second wheel to your U-Lock.
Discounted U-Locks can be purchased from the Georgetown University Police Department (GUPD), located in Village C West.
DPS Officers regularly patrol bicycle parking areas, but the best guard against bike theft is to park your bike in a well-lit area with a lot of pedestrian foot traffic.
Registering Your Bike
GUPD offers bicycle registration for students, faculty, and staff. While bicycle registration is not required, it is highly recommended as it can assist with bicycle recovery in case of theft.
Registering your bike with the university is free, and GUPD will also register your bike with the National Bicycle Registry for $10.
Online bicycle registration with the university can be completed by filling out this registration form, or you can register your bike online with the National Bicycle Registry.
Connect with other GU bicyclists
If you are a member of the Georgetown community who currently bikes to Georgetown (or is considering it) join our Bicycling@Georgetown Facebook group (new window), where you can connect with other members of the Georgetown community who bike and ask any questions that you might have.
General Bicycling Resources
DC Bicycling News
Bicycling Tips and Safety
- Washington DC Bicycle Map (new window)
- Capital Bikeshare Station Map (new window)
- Georgetown University Bicycle Map
Partial support for the creation of this webpage and other Bicycling at Georgetown resources has been provided by an Urban Sustainability grant from the National Science Foundation (DC-BC ULTRA-Ex NSF-DEB-0948947).