The city of Montreal has intervened to make sure Bixis are available this spring by buying the bike-sharing company’s local assets for $11.9 million.
“We are just only recuperating the assets in Montreal, which are all the bicycles, all the stations, all equipment — all their parts — so that we can operate Bixi for the summer of 2014,” said Pierre Desrochers, the president of Montreal’s executive committee.
City officials say the transaction won’t cost taxpayers any money — the $11.9-million cost will be deducted from the money Bixi already owes the city of Montreal for a loan.
Bixi is Montreal’s number one creditor — it owes the city more than $30 million.
The deal still needs to be approved by a bankruptcy court
Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre says he wants Montrealers to be able to ride Bixi bicycles again beginning April 15.
“Since its launch, Bixi has contributed significantly to the development of cycling in Montreal. The 25,000 daily trips recorded with Bixi demonstrate, undeniably, the attachment that Montrealers have developed to their bike-sharing program,” Coderre said.
City officials say they will study the future of Bixi over the summer and decide its fate in the fall.
Desrochers says folding the bike-sharing company into the STM, Montreal's public transit agency, is not out of the question.