(Photo by Bill O’Leary/The Washington Post)

Montgomery County’s Bikeshare program had about 35,000 trips in its first year, exceeding county expectations by almost 50 percent.

County officials said they predicted the bike-sharing program would have 24,000 trips in its first year, which started in October 2013, but it was more popular than expected.

“Bikeshare is another cost-effective transit option that can help reduce traffic congestion by eliminating the need to drive for short trips,” County Executive Isiah Leggett (D) said in a news release.

Montgomery has 51 Bikeshare stations in three areas: Parts of Bethesda and Friendship Heights along the Metrorail Red Line; areas of Silver Spring and Takoma Park, also along the Red Line; and the Life Sciences Center area of Rockville/Shady Grove.