Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett celebrated the grand opening of the county’s Bikeshare Network on Sept. 27, launching the first installment of 51 bikeshare stations and 450 bikes in Bethesda, Md., Friendship Heights, Md., Silver Spring, Md., Takoma Park, Md., Rockville, Md., Shady Grove, Md., and the Life Sciences Center area.
Montgomery County’s bikeshare program is the first year-round system in Maryland and is part of the regional Capital Bikeshare network, linking the county with the District of Columbia, Arlington, Va., and Alexandria, Va.’s bikeshare systems.
“Bikesharing is proving to be a phenomenal success in the region having recently celebrated its five millionth rider, and we have no doubt that Montgomery County residents, employees, retail and restaurant patrons, and other visitors will also be enthusiastic participants,” Leggett said. “Bikeshare is another cost effective transit option that can help reduce traffic congestion by eliminating the need to drive for short trips. We expect bikeshare to significantly expand opportunities and improve the quality of life for all our residents. And, the special assistance available to low-income bikeshare users will make this 24/7 transit option particularly appealing to those who hold multiple jobs or participate in job training programs.
“We are very grateful to all our funding partners, including the state of Maryland, the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, Federal Transit Administration, the city of Rockville, the planning board and the Chevy Chase Land Company for their financial assistance. We also want to thank the public and private sector landowners who worked with us to enable siting of bikeshare stations on their properties.”
"Bikeshare is an important step forward for Montgomery County and the entire region,” said Montgomery County Council President Nancy Navarro. “The council funded this project as part of our ongoing quest to reshape Montgomery County roads so they are safe and pleasant for residents to walk, bike, drive, or ride public transportation."
“The sturdy red bikes are finally rolling into Bethesda, Silver Spring and Rockville,” said Montgomery County Councilmember Roger Berliner, who chairs the council’s transportation, infrastructure, energy and environment committee. “Bikeshare represents an important step in creating a Montgomery County that is less dependent on the automobile and more supportive of healthier, greener options.”
“Since my arrival at the Council in 2006, the bikeshare program and the completion of the Metropolitan Branch Trail have been at the top of my legislative agenda,” said Montgomery County Councilmember Valerie Ervin, who represents East County, which includes Silver Spring and Takoma Park. “I am thrilled that the bikeshare program will provide Montgomery County residents with another way to bike to work or enjoy a weekend ride on one of the many beautiful trails in our community. The infrastructure needed to keep pedestrians, cyclists and motorists safe is also a priority for me and remains on the front burner as I continue to work on these issues.”