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Bikeshare coming to lower Montgomery County

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Montgomery County has received state money to help establish a Capital Bikeshare program next year in Friendship Heights, Bethesda, the Medical Center Metro station area, Takoma Park and Silver Spring, county officials said Wednesday.

The 350 bikes and 50 bike-docking stations should be up and running in about 12 months, said county spokeswoman Esther Bowring.

The program is estimated to cost $2.15 million to establish. The new state grant of $1 million brings the total committed to the project to about $1.5 million. The other funding includes another recently approved state grant for $250,000 and an additional $250,000 pledged by the private sector. County funding will make up the rest, Bowring said.

The program is expected to cost $500,000 annually to operate and maintain, Bowring said. About $200,000 of that should be covered by membership fees and private sponsorships, she said, with the county covering the rest.

Last year, the county received federal grant money and funding from the city of Rockville for 20 Bikeshare stations and 200 bikes in the areas of Rockville and Shady Grove/Life Sciences Center. That program is expected to be up and running later this year, Bowring said.

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