Bixi will ride again this year under the name of Bixi Montreal, a new not-for-profit organization set up to manage the local operation.
In what Mayor Denis Coderre called a “big pilot project,” Bixi Montreal has been given $4.3 million contract to run the popular bike-sharing service.
The city is also giving Bixi Montreal a $460,000 short-term loan and a $165,000 grant so that the organization can get started immediately on rolling out for the 2014 season.
But, he said, the city can’t do it alone. He said more people needed to use Bixi to make it a viable business, imploring Montrealers to “show your love for Bixi.”
Coderre said he hopes to launch the Bixi season in mid-April.
Bixi moves past troubled history
The bike-sharing service’s former parent company landed in hot water recently, causing it to file for bankruptcy after its international arm’s dealings fell short of other cities’ expectations.
The Public Bike System Company, known in French as the Société de vélos en libre-service (SVLS), owed $50 million to various creditors, including the City of Montreal.
The city bought Bixi’s local assets for $11.9 million in February, deducting it from the amount SVLS owed on a loan from Montreal.
Coderre said the creation of Bixi Montreal would allow Montrealers and tourists to enjoy a quality service this season.
“One of our priorities consisted of convincing quality individuals to form an organization that would be able to efficiently organize Bixi’s local activities,” he said.
Suzanne Lareau of Vélo Quebec and Marie-Elaine Farley of the Chambre de la sécurité financière will sit on Bixi Montreal’s board of directors along with five other people.
C'est avec fierté que j'ai accepté l'offre de la ville de siéger sur l 'obnl qui gérera Bixi-Montréal.
C'est avec fierté que j'ai accepté l'offre de la ville de siéger sur l 'obnl qui gérera Bixi-Montréal.— Suzanne Lareau (@SuzLareau) March 24, 2014