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County Executive Kittleman announces pilot bikeshare network in Downtown Columbia

County Executive Kittleman announces pilot bikeshare network in Downtown Columbia

April 22, 2016

Media Contacts:
Mark Miller, Administrator, Office of Public Information, 410-313-2022
Chris Eatough, Howard County Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator, 410-313-0567

County Executive Kittleman announces pilot bikeshare network in Downtown Columbia

ELLICOTT CITY, MD – Howard County Executive Allan H. Kittleman today announced a collaborative alliance that will create a pilot bikeshare program in Columbia. The program will create a network of seven bikeshare stations with 70 bicycles serving the Columbia Lakefront, The Mall in Columbia, the new Crescent development, Howard County General Hospital, Howard Community College, Oakland Mills Village Center and Blandair Park.

“Bikeshare has proven to be a key element in creating a vibrant downtown environment,” said Kittleman. “It’s a healthy, modern transportation option that is a great fit for our denser, more urban areas. We have seen the success of Capital Bikeshare in the Washington region and we expect similar results here in Howard County.”

Bikeshare systems provide a fleet of public bicycles at automated, secure docking stations, located throughout a community, to accommodate point-to-point trips. They are considered the fastest growing form of public transportation, with more than 30 new systems nationally since 2010, providing more than 36 million trips.

The pilot bikeshare program in Howard County is supported by the following:

  • Horizon Foundation
  • Columbia Association
  • The Howard Hughes Corporation
  • Howard County General Hospital
  • Howard Community College
  • General Growth Properties (The Mall in Columbia)

These community supporters are providing funding and license agreements allowing space to install bikeshare stations.

Howard County will request proposals from potential bikeshare vendors this summer. Once a vendor is selected, the stations and bikes will be purchased and installed. The system is expected to launch in the spring/summer of 2017. The pilot bikeshare program will operate for at least six years, at which time the county will evaluate its success and determine whether it will be continued or expanded.

“This is an exciting addition to Columbia that will have a positive impact for both businesses and residents,” added Kittleman. “I’m looking forward to seeing the bikeshare program in action”.

Video from today’s announcement can be found at https://youtu.be/5Lt-haLhyC4.

What community supporters are saying:

“Bikeshare provides active transportation, allowing healthy exercise to be incorporated into people’s daily lives. This is exactly the kind of transformative program that the Horizon Foundation supports and is proud to partner with the County in this initiative.”
-- Nikki Highsmith Vernick, President and CEO of the Horizon Foundation

"Bikeshare will encourage people to ride instead of drive for short trips in and around Columbia's downtown and the surrounding areas, as well as along the pathways. This will become even more convenient, healthy and environmentally friendly as redevelopment in Downtown Columbia continues. The bikeshare pilot program reinforces how Columbia and Howard County are forward-thinking, sustainable and innovative places to live and work."
-- Jane Dembner, Director of Planning and Community Affairs, Columbia Association

“This bikeshare pilot program is a forward-thinking initiative perfect for Downtown Columbia. As downtown grows, bikeshare will be a great option for people to get around quickly without driving their cars and searching for a parking spot.”
-- Greg Fitchitt, Vice President of Development, The Howard Hughes Corporation

“I welcome the opportunity for Howard County General Hospital staff and visitors to have convenient access to bicycles for exercise, commuting and other activities. We are committed to building better connections between our hospital and a strong, active and vibrant Downtown Columbia, and appreciate the fitness and environmental benefits that cycling brings.”
-- Steven C. Snelgrove, President, Howard County General Hospital

“Howard Community College is pleased to be a bikeshare partner and provide more than 30,000 HCC employees and students with convenient access to bicycles on our campus. This program complements our recently completed facilities master plan, promotes sustainability, and encourages a healthy, active lifestyle for our community.”
-- Dr. Kate Hetherington, President of Howard Community College

“GGP and The Mall in Columbia are looking forward to being one of the key stations within the County’s new bikeshare network. This exciting new transportation initiative will serve to better connect our community and provide a healthy mode of transportation.”
-- Barbara Nicklas, Senior General Manager, The Mall in Columbia

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