Residents of Montgomery, Maryland, donated 176 bicycles as part of an annual giving event this year, the county’s transportation authority has said.

In an October 22nd press release, Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) shared the figures on how its bike collection program has fared since it was launched three years ago. According to that statement, people in Rockville, the county seat, and beyond donated 100 bicycles at the start of the program in 2017. Last year saw a notable increase to 120 but authorities became particularly happy about this year’s performance. At the third annual event on October 18th, people donated a record number of 176 adult and children’s bikes – marking an increase of nearly 50% over 2018.

In addition to the bikes, the drive collected various bike parts, including bike frames, wheels and tires.

For its program, MCDOT partners with Rockville Bike Hub (RBH), a local nonprofit, and Bikes for the World (BFTW), a similar yet larger organization serving greater Washington and abroad. The bikes people donated first go through maintenance checks and, if necessary, repairs as well before being handed over to those in need.

“The MCDOT realized several years ago that, as the County continued to expand its bicycle path network, more people would likely want to take advantage of the increased opportunities. It also realized that not all of those who wanted to ride bikes could afford them,” the department said.

Residents support the program directly with checks as well. Organizers use those funds to buy bicycle parts for repairs.

Low-income families, both in Montgomery and beyond the U.S., become beneficiaries as a result of all that work. In Rockville, the process also helps children grow up as good citizens.

“Elementary school kids in the city of Rockville do six good deeds as part of their community service. They’ll get a certificate from the mayor and council at the first council meeting in May and the third Sunday in May they get a bike from us,” RBH President Steve Andruski said in an October 24th report by Local DVM.

Over 150,000 Bikes in 29 Countries

BFTW, though, has a bigger mission as it continues to change lives internationally as well. The organization has so far facilitated the delivery of 152,030 bicycles to people in 29 developing countries around the world. It says those bikes provide better transport for work, education, and healthcare.

The organization also generates employment in bike repair and maintenance overseas, and provides environmental and humanitarian service opportunities for volunteers locally in the DC metro area.