from Maryland Department of Transportation Press Release
Governor Martin O’Malley today kicked off bike month, by announcing the first seven winners of his new Maryland Bikeshare Program grants to help Maryland communities plan, establish or expand bikeshare programs. He announced the new Maryland Bikeshare Program in November 2011 to create bikeshare systems in Maryland. Bikeshare systems can help solve the “last mile” problem, connecting public transportation riders to their final destinations. Governor O’Malley’s new program will provide $2.5 million this year to three counties and several municipalities for a variety of projects in different stages of development from feasibility assessment to implementation of bikesharing stations.
“As we celebrate Bike Month, these grants will help bring Bikeshare stations to Maryland,” said Governor O’Malley. “Bikesharing allows Marylanders an affordable option for short-distance trips as an alternative to public transportation, driving or walking. By getting out and taking a bike ride, we also learn to enjoy more of Maryland’s natural treasures, help reduce the impact on the land, improve our fitness and well-being, and enhance our quality of life.”
The grant-winning projects include both feasibility studies for several jurisdictions and actual implementation and opening of bikeshare stations for others that are further along in the planning and design process. The winners are divided into two categories – funding to implement a bikeshare facility and funding for a feasibility study to determine potential bikeshare station locations. The Bikeshare Grant Program is funded through the Maryland Department of Transportation’s Federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) Program and will cover 80 percent of the total project cost. Local jurisdictions are required to pay a 20 percent match.
The winners of grants to implement bikesharing systems are: Baltimore City, Montgomery County and joint partners with University of Maryland at College Park and the City of College Park. The winners of grants for feasibility studies of potential bikeshare stations are: Frederick City, Howard County and joint partners with Prince George’s County and the City of Greenbelt.
The next step is for the jurisdictions and MDOT to sign a memorandum of understanding followed by a formal award of the funding. Feasibility studies and Bikeshare implementation projects could begin any time after July 1st with project or study completion expected to be complete in about a year’s time. Jurisdictions will be in charge of the project and the exact timeline.