Montreal’s bike-share service Bixi marked its one millionth ride Monday.
The lucky rider was information technology consultant Van Phuc Anh Phung, who was awarded a free one-year membership as well as a Bixi hat and T-shirt by Mayor Gérald Tremblay.
Anh Phung said he began using Bixi this summer after his own bike was stolen.
"When I [found] the Bixi service I said wow – because I don’t need to carry the bike onto the metro," Anh Phung said.
"It is really very, very convenient for me and I think a lot of people will try doing that."
The only thing the Bixi is missing is a coffee mug holder, Anh Phung said.
The Bixi bikes will start disappearing from the city’s streets next month when they will be put away for winter storage until May 1.
The parking spots the bikes have been stationed on will once again be freed up for motorists.
Five thousand Bixi bikes were available at 400 stations around Montreal in this, the first year of the program.
Stationnement de Montreal, the city parking authority which runs the service, initially said it would take three years to pay off the cost of the bikes, but now says the popularity of the program has shortened the payback period.
Users pay subscription fees — $78 for a year, $28 for a month and $5 for a day — plus additional levies on trips lasting more than half an hour.