Saturday, December 31, 2011
The Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) has submitted an application to the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) for a $1 million grant that will fund a bikesharing system in southern Montgomery County. The bikeshare application to MDOT is the fifth grant submitted by MCDOT over the past three years seeking funding for bikesharing, but the first to the State of Maryland since it announced a bikeshare grant program this November.
The proposed bikeshare program will fund 29 docking stations and 204 bikes between the Beltway and the District of Columbia border, including Friendship Heights (Chevy Chase), Bethesda, the Medical Center Metro area, Takoma Park and Silver Spring. The bikeshare stations would be integrated with the Capital Bikeshare system in Arlington, Virginia, and the District of Columbia, focusing on connecting Metrorail stations in downcounty areas with major employment, residential, commercial and activity centers.
Montgomery County has been successful in obtaining a $1.3 million Federal Transit Administration (FTA) grant for a bikesharing program in portions of the City of Rockville and Greater Shady Grove Transportation Management District, including the County’s Life Sciences Center. That grant is provided through the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments under the FTA’s Job Access Reverse Commute (JARC) program to link lower-income residents and employees with jobs and job training. The City of Rockville is partnering with the County to provide matching funds and implement the program. The Rockville/Shady Grove bikesharing program will eventually be connected with the proposed downcounty system as it expands.
The new bikesharing application requests 80 percent grant funding for capital facilities. The County would be responsible for the remaining 20 percent local match, which is coming from private sector sources. The County also will be responsible for operating and maintenance costs, some of which are expected to be offset by revenues from membership and usage fees.
Building developers, businesses, residents and other organizations in the County that have an interest in bikesharing are invited to contact the County’s bikeshare program staff to explore opportunities for joint funding, as well as to suggest locations for bikeshare stations.