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Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony Held for the Opening of a Satellite Capital Bikeshare Network in Wheaton

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett today took part in a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the opening of the Bikeshare satellite network in downtown Wheaton.

“Bicycling is an important part of Montgomery County’s transportation network,” said County Executive Leggett. “Bicycling offers an affordable, sustainable and healthy way for people to get where they need to go. Our new satellite Bikeshare network will support the Wheaton Central Business District and the surrounding residential, commercial and mixed use development that will soon include a new library and recreation center, as well as a new public office building.”

Leggett was joined by Council President Roger Berliner, Council Vice President Hans Riemer, Councilmember Nancy Navarro, Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) Assistant Secretary for Transportation, Policy Analysis and Planning Charles Glass, Montgomery County Planning Board Chair Casey Anderson and Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCODT) Director Al Roshdieh.

The Wheaton Bikeshare network links the Wheaton Central Business District and the Wheaton Metrorail station. The locations of the five stations are: Elkin Street and Amherst Avenue; Grandview and Blueridge Avenues; Wheaton Metrorail station; Amherst Avenue and Prichard Road; and Windham Lane and Amherst Avenue.  A sixth station will be added this summer.

“Capital Bikeshare has become an essential element of our region’s transportation network, providing those first- and last-mile connections from Metro stations and other forms of mass transit,” said County Council President Berliner. “This new network of Capital Bikeshare stations can help provide that same ability in Wheaton, connecting people to its diverse and growing collection of shops, restaurants, businesses and homes.”

Bikeshare stations in Wheaton were located to promote transportation along routes that connect key destinations and are bike-friendly, such as Amherst Avenue and Grandview Avenue.

“I am thrilled that this new transportation option will be coming to Wheaton,” said County Council Vice President Riemer. “People seem to really appreciate the ease, flexibility, and affordability of Capital Bikeshare. It is really going to help people go where they want to go in Wheaton.”

The new stations help build the network of Capital Bikeshare in Montgomery County. Bikeshare has been installed around Metro stations at Shady Grove, Rockville, Bethesda, Friendship Heights, Takoma, Silver Spring, and Wheaton. This summer, a sixth station will be added in Wheaton, amounting to a total of 67 Bikeshare stations in the County. There are plans to install six more Bikeshare stations in the Shady Grove area by the end of the year.

“Capital BikeShare provides a new transportation and recreation option for residents, commuters and families in and around Wheaton,” said Councilmember Nancy Navarro.  “As we move forward with the Wheaton Redevelopment Project, residents will begin to experience new amenities and community focused spaces that will anchor this area of the County.  I am delighted that Capital BikeShare is one of our community partners.”

Bikeshare is designed to offer convenience for short trips. People can join Bikeshare for an annual, daily or three-day fee, and ride for up to 30 minutes at a time. Those with certain income levels can join Bikeshare for free. Once people enroll in Bikeshare, they can pick up their key at any station with a key dispenser. All of the new Bikeshare stations in Wheaton are equipped with key dispensers. Alternatively, people can opt for a $2.00 single-trip fare, which does not require a key.

“At the Maryland Department of Transportation, the safety of all of our customers from bicyclists, to pedestrians to drivers, is our number one priority,” said MDOT Assistant Secretary for Transportation Planning and Policy Charles Glass.  “Through partnerships like the one with Montgomery County, we are able to extend the reach of transit through efficient bike networks, connecting more people to more destinations by providing alternative solutions.”

MCDOT used a $300,350 Maryland-Bikeways-Program grant from the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) to establish the six-station Bikeshare network in Wheaton. That covers the purchase of the stations and bikes and the installation of the stations. In addition, AVA Wheaton provided $66,405.

“AvalonBay is thrilled to support Capital Bikeshare as it expands its growing transportation network into Wheaton,” said David Bookhout, development director, AvalonBay Communities. “Bikeshare will be a fantastic amenity for residents of AVA Wheaton, our newest residential apartment community opening this summer. AVA appeals to renters looking for an urban, active, and social lifestyle. Capital Bikeshare provides just that by more deeply connecting riders to the neighborhoods where they live, work and play.”

The Bikeshare satellite system provides access to Wheaton Metro, Ride On and Metrobus, as well as shopping, work, entertainment and other destinations within Wheaton.

“MCDOT is committed to expanding travel options in Montgomery County, and this is particularly important in Wheaton where MCDOT is leading the way to redevelop the downtown into a more walkable, bikeable and smart growth community,” said MCDOT Director Al Roshdieh. “We expect Bikeshare in Wheaton to significantly improve opportunities and quality of life for all our residents, as it has in other areas of the County. Bikeshare provides another cost-effective alternative that can help reduce traffic congestion by eliminating the need to drive for short trips.”

MCDOT is directing the effort to replace the County-owned Wheaton Triangle Parking Lot with a government office building, town square and underground public parking to boost Wheaton’s economic development, contribute to its renewal and improve environmental quality.

More information about Capital Bikeshare is available online.

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Release ID: 17-439
Media Contact: Lorraine Driscoll 240-777-6507