MARYLAND

Montgomery County bike share program coming

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Avid cyclist Cornelious Williams has covered a lot of ground on just two-wheels.

And while he has bikes of his own, he's willing to rent some when bike sharing finally arrives in Montgomery County.

It's a service that you can already find in D.C. and Arlington.

“You already have the bikes right there, so say, for instance, I'm getting off work I decide I want to ride a bike. I mean, most times I carry a backpack with me so I have some type of gear in my backpack so I can ride a bike,” Williams says.

Ahead of Tuesday's official roll-out of the bike share legislation, council president Roger Berliner stressed two key points: They'll make it easier for the private sector to get involved and the program will be included as an item that can be funded with “transportation impact fees.”

“We collect them for things like bike lanes, and bike lockers....well we currently don't collect them for things like bike share stations,” Berliner says.

That money is geared toward reducing congestion, and Paige Billes supports that movement among the other benefits of going carless.

“Fuel costs are going up and bicycling is a great way to exercise and get to your destination,” Billes says.

The plan includes 29 stations going up in places like Bethesda, Friendship Heights, Takoma Park and Silver Spring. $1.2 million in grant and bond dollars are helping to launch the program.

As of now, it's unclear if the county will move forward with Capital Bikeshare or another vendor. But county officials do want to move quickly on this project and hope to have some stations up and running before the end of the year.

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