july-03-09-bixi

There are now 5,000 Bixi bikes available for rental in Montreal. ((CBC))

Montreal's Bixi bike-rental program is going international, with contracts to set up similar programs in London and Boston. 

The City of Montreal said it will also submit a bid when New York City issues a call this fall for tenders for a bike-rental system.

Working with London-based services company Serco, Bixi will create a network of 6,000 bikes, 400 docking stations and 10,000 docking points for the English capital by 2010.

In Boston, Bixi will set up and operate a bike-share system in the central city, and it has the right to negotiate to expand to neighbouring municipalities. The central Boston plan calls for 2,500 bikes, 290 stations and 3,750 docking points, with the potential to expand to 5,000 bikes.

It's all good news for Montreal and for the companies that manufacture the bicycles, said Roger Plamondon, chairman of the board of the Public Bike System Co.

"Amongst others, the call centre will be expanded, as we will be handling all the calls that come in to the Boston area. And that is notwithstanding all the secondary jobs that will be created because of all the new business," he said.

In a statement posted Wednesday on Bixi's website, Montreal Mayor Gérald Tremblay said: "Two projects of this scope show why all Montrealers have every reason to be proud. Bixi contributes to raising Montreal's stature as a UNESCO 'city of design,' as a city of invention and creativity, as a centre of excellence in technologies and innovations and, finally, as a green city going forward with concrete projects."

Montreal currently has 5,000 Bixi bikes spread out over 400 stations across the city.