Bike Lockers, Worth the Fee?

These are located outside the Eastern Market Metro though I’ve seen them at many metro stops across the city (Petworth had them for a while but no longer does). According to WMATA:

“Bicycle lockers provide excellent, secure bicycle parking by improving protection from theft, vandalism, and inclement weather. The lockers are designed to hold one bicycle each as well as bicycle gear such as panniers, locks, lights, etc. Users will receive one key that will only open one locker. Each locker has a unique lock and key to provide maximum security. Bicycle lockers are available for $200 for one year plus a $10 key deposit.”

Anyone have one? If so, did you have to go on a waiting list or were you able to get one right away? Does the $200 fee seem reasonable? You can see a list of stations with lockers here.

11 Comment

  • I have one near my office out in the burbs. I keep my bike locked in it overnight during the week to get to back and forth from metro, and then bring it home on weekends.

    It makes me feel much better about leaving the bike unattended, but I’m not sure I’ll renew it. It used to be $75 a year. $200 is a big increase.

  • I think they raised the price so homeless people wouldn’t use them as personal storage lockers. I know several of the lockers at Dupont and Foggy Bottom were crammed with shopping carts and large duffel bags of crap.

    • I was just going to ask if I could use one to store things other than bicycles. It certainly would be an inexpensive storage solution.

  • Considering that some bikes cost as much as cars nowadays, $200 a year seems a small price to pay to protect that ivestment. How much is bike insurance anyways?

    I have no idea since I’m an old coot and the last bike I owned was a Supergoose with mag wheels.

  • Oh, bikes easily cost about $15,000 these days. Plus, once you throw in the Rocket Boosters, Laser Cannon, and Action Cape, you’re talking about an easy $45,200 (with the locker to store your sweet bike).

    If you think about it, though, it’s not really *that* much money when you’re talking about starting a crime-fighting business. You’ll be pulling in the dollars in no time, sir. Just remember the little people.

  • I had one at Fort Totten, no waiting list, but since the price went up from $80 to $200 I haven’t got any information about renewing

  • What I don’t get is why anyone who is a regular bike commuter to this metro station wouldn’t just get a crappy commuter bike.

    I mean, while $200 is probably a good deal for the roughly 10 people who are lucky enough to lease one of these things, they sure take up a lot of prime real estate and are ugly as sin.

    What’s the cost/benefit? A tiny number of people get a benefit at a big cost in public space. Can’t those ten people just spend $200 on a commuter bike?

    I have two bikes, I would never use my nice one to ride a mile or two back and forth to a metro station on crappy DC streets. This just seems like a feel-good set aside that benefits hardly anyone.

    • I suppose it begs the question, how far do people ride to metro and what is the route like? 2 miles uphill on a commuter bike would suck. 5 miles on a commuter bike would probably suck. I had a crappy old 3 speed Raleigh that riding up hill felt like I was pushing a small car up hill. That said, some people probably have pretty nice hybrids or MTBs that make commuting nice and easy, and they want to lock them up. $200, however, seems just too much for a box that likely requires little to no maintenance.

    • Depending on the theft/damage rate at your friendly neighborhood bike racks (see the recent discussion on bike damages/theft at the NY Ave station) $200 is not bad insurance. And I suspect that there are many folks who travel much further than 1-2 miles to use these lockers. If I was a commuter coming in 10-20 miles on the W&OD or something and didn’t have any bike storage options at work I would definitely consider this if a Metro station was close to my office. Those folks usually have a little more than average invested in a bike that they spend 2 hours in the saddle per day on.

  • 1. These lockers are great for those who dont live/work adjacent to a metro. There probably should be more.

    2. Not sure what justifies raising the price from $80 (incl. $10 key dep.) to $200. Kinda pisses me off.

    3. Re: the appearance. The city would look great without cars parked all over the place too. But that isnt a realistic option.

    4. Re: dumpy vs. good bikes. If you are commuting more than 10 minutes, you likely aren’t going to want to depend on a POS bike.

  • Um, econ 101. This is surely a supply-demand thing. $80 was way too cheap.

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