Developer offers to fund 2 MontCo bikeshare stations

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Capital Land,Kytja Weir

A private development company is offering to host and pay for two Capital Bikeshare stations in Montgomery County as the county is seeking input – and money – on how to start up bikesharing locally.

The Chevy Chase Land Co. offered to pay for two stations of the popular bike-sharing service in a letter sent Tuesday to local officials. The company is proposing one station at its Newlands Building near the Bethesda Metro stop and another on Wisconsin Circle at the Friendship Heights station, offering to pay the nearly $56,000 per station start-up cost.

The caveat, though, is that the county must extend the network to other sites and cover the annual operating costs that total about $25,000 each.

The letter was sent the same day that county officials hosted a hearing to gather input from community members on how to extend the bike sharing system around the Red Line inside the Capital Beltway. The proposal includes Takoma, Silver Spring, Forest Glen, Wheaton, Friendship Heights, Bethesda and Medical Center Metro stops. The county already plans to add stations clustered around the Rockville and Shady Grove stops.

The effort is the latest push to expand the year-old Capital Bikeshare system, which started in the District and Arlington.

But where to find the money has been a question as the county has lost out on  grant applications. It is now trying to tap into a state grant for the funds.

The Chevy Chase Land Co.’s proposal is the first offer of financial assistance for the bikeshare program from a private developer, Montgomery County spokeswoman Esther Bowring said.

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Kytja Weir

Staff Writer - Transportation
The Washington Examiner