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Thoughts about the relationships between transport and the urban area it serves

Montreal gets velib

with 3 comments

UPDATED
New text from CBC

Montreal unveils ambitious bike-rental program
‘BIXIs’ will be available at 300 stations across the city
Last Updated: Monday, September 22, 2008 | 10:01 AM ET
CBC News

Montreal introduced a new self-service, bike-rental system on Sunday modelled after the highly successful Vélib’ program in Paris.

So far there are only 40 of the bicycles available — the city calls them BIXIs, a mix of bicycle and taxi — but the plan is to have 2,400 BIXIs in service by next spring. In Paris, the Vélib’ service provides
more than 10,000 bicycles.

“It’s not for long trips. You ride it and you return it, and [for] the first half hour there’s no charge,” Mayor Gérald Tremblay said Sunday.

“We sincerely believe that a lot of citizens who are not presently commuting with a bicycle will use the bicycles,” he said.

The service will cost $28 a month, or $78 for seven months. Users can buy a day pass for $5.

Montrealer Michel Gourdeau won an online contest to name the bike service.

“Well, I’m a user of bicycles myself, and I thought it would be a good idea to participate and try to find a name that is special,” he said.

Gourdeau felt BIXI had “a nice international feel to it.”

The city will deploy a squad of BIXI experts to explain how to use the rental service over the next few months.

When it’s fully in service there will be 300 BIXI stations around the city where the bicycles can be rented or returned.

The $15-million system is being paid for by Stationnement de Montreal, the company that manages the city’s on-street parking.

It hopes to recoup its investment through the membership fees.

The bikes are designed entirely in Quebec, and are made of 100 per cent recyclable aluminum. The bike parking stations are powered by solar energy.

velib park

Written by Stephen Rees

September 21, 2008 at 7:51 pm

Posted in bicycles

Tagged with , ,

3 Responses

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  1. LOL, have you taken a ride in one of those things?

    It’s a lovely way to see Montreal, by the way 🙂 Too bad it’s not for two persons.

    Montreal Web Design

    September 22, 2008 at 7:21 am

  2. Yes – see my report on Paris. Definitely the most convenient way to get around the city.

    Stephen Rees

    September 22, 2008 at 7:50 am

  3. […] in Europe, and is already being rolled out in North America in cities like Washington and Portland. Montreal introduced a new self-service, bike-rental system last week modelled after the highly successful […]


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