Red bikes are spreading like a virus: A study has recommended starting a Capital Bikeshare network in the Anacostia Trails Heritage Area (ATHA) and National Harbor in Prince George’s County by fall 2017.

The recommendation follows a lengthy study released in November by the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC), which suggested the county start with 25 stations in ATHA—along the Anacostia River Tributaries from Colmar Manor north to Greenbelt and west to Langley Park—and four stations at National Harbor, near the Woodrow Wilson Bridge connecting National Harbor with Alexandria.

The vision calls for the bikeshare network to expand to Greenbelt, Langley Park and Bladensburg. Stations would be phased in across the county, under the plan outlined in the M-NCPPC graphic above. The stations would begin operations by fall 2017.

Planners chose ATHA and National Harbor based on likely demand, which is driven by population density and age, proximity to transit and existing bike facilities, and topography.

Capital Bikeshare will join mBike, Prince George’s County sole bikeshare program, which only operates in College Park. Though bikes from the two programs are not compatible, county officials intend to develop a blended system in which mBike is used for local riders in College Park and Capital Bikeshare is used elsewhere.

Capital costs are estimated to be approximately $4 million for the full implementation of the Capital Bikeshare expansion. Capital costs include new stations, bicycles, and installation costs. All costs are based on the proposed phasing of a total of 67 stations, 670 bicycles and 1,139 docks implemented in an area of approximately 12.6 square miles.

In October, Capital Bikeshare opened 15 stations in Reston and 14 stations in Tysons Corner.