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Today saw the much-awaited debut of Capital BikeShare in Montgomery County.
Fourteen bikeshare stations opened today throughout the county. Close to 40 others are still being finished and will open soon. Montgomery County joins D.C., Arlington, and Alexandria in having Capital Bikeshare.
"This quite frankly makes us a younger community," says Councilman Roger Berliner. "That's a goal of Montgomery County as well. To attract younger people to our county and demonstrate that we will listen to them and provide for them."
Berliner wasn't the only person talking about how Capital Bikeshare can help the county attract younger people.
"Young people are getting away from their cars. They want to use bikes not just for recreation or exercise. They want to use bikes to get to where they want to go. That could be work, that could be restaurants," says Jim Smith, Maryland's transportation secretary.
In the long run-up to today's launching, many county officials, residents, and bike riders wondered whether roads in Montgomery County were ready to take on an influx of bicyclists, since the county does not have the extensive network of bike lanes that neighboring D.C. does.
But with the bikeshare stations finally open, it's a question that can now be answered.