Capital Bikeshare coming to Montgomery

April 30, 2013

The Capital Bikeshare station on M Street SE near Nationals Park. (Robert Thomson/The Washington Post)

Capital Bikeshare is on schedule to have bike-rental stations operating in Montgomery County by late summer, county officials said Tuesday.

The county’s transportation department signed a one-year contract with Alta Bicycle Share, the company that runs Capital Bikeshare, on April 24 to install bike stations, supply bicycles and operate the system, said county spokeswoman Esther Bowring. The contract includes two one-year extensions.

About 20 bike stations with 200 bikes total will be installed in the Rockville and Shady Grove areas. Those locations will include the Rockville and Shady Grove Metrorail stations, Rockville Town Center, King Farm, Montgomery College’s Rockville campus and the universities area of Shady Grove.

Another 30 stations with 250 bikes total will be located at Red Line Metrorail stations inside the Capital Beltway, including Takoma Park, Silver Spring, Friendship Heights, Bethesda and Medical Center.

Capital Bikeshare, which is popular in the District, allows users to rent bikes and ride them between stations, allowing for one-way trips.

The county plans to subsidize bike-sharing participation costs for lower-income residents who want to use it to commute to work or job-training. The bike-share program in the Rockville and Shady Grove areas also will help determine whether it works in less densely developed areas, beyond cities and inner suburbs, officials said.

The equipment costs are expected to average about $60,000 per station, county officials said. Those station installation costs will be covered primarily by federal and state grants, officials said. The bikes will be paid for by the county, the city of Rockville and private companies.

The annual costs to operate all 50 stations is expected to be $675,000 after revenues have been deducted. The county will cover those costs, officials said.

Katherine Shaver is a transportation and development reporter. She joined The Washington Post in 1997 and has covered crime, courts, education and local government but most prefers writing about how people get — or don’t get — around the Washington region.
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