Chevy Chase might be seeing more cyclists in the not-too-distant future. The Maryland Department of Transportation recently announced state funding for a bike sharing program. Based on Capital BikeShare in Washington D.C., the downcounty system is expected to be installed sometime next year.
What is a bike sharing system?
A bike sharing system would allow Chevy Chase and Bethesda residents to access bicycles from various stations around downcounty. Bicycles can be taken and dropped off at any station nearest the user. Aside from the environmental benefits, a bike sharing system could allow for faster travel time when compared to other modes of public transportation.
How will it be set up?
The project will be divided into two phases, with 29 stations planned for the first phase and 50 stations planned for the second phase. The entire system is slated to cost over $2.1 million. Although grants and bonds have been approved for the program, more funds will still be needed to meet the cost.
How close will the bike sharing system be to Chevy Chase?
The list of potential places for a bike sharing station include: Bethesda, Friendship Heights, Medical Center, Silver Spring and Takoma Park. The exact locations within these areas have yet to be decided.
How much does it cost?
The entire program is estimated to cost $500,000 a year to upkeep. Cost of usage will likely be based on membership fees similar to the Capital BikeShare system.
The Capital BikeShare system offers a $75 yearly membership. There are also options available online that offer shorter time spans for smaller fees. For instance, a 24-hour membership costs $7 while a 30-day membership costs $25. Keys or unlocking codes are provided, allowing users to access the bicycle based on their type of membership.
Do you think a bike sharing program is practical for the Chevy Chase area? Share your thoughts with us.