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Get around... greenly!

Yeah all right, so that isn't exactly stellar grammar, but you'll forgive my excitement when you read all about the latest quasi-public transport options available to the average Montrealer. I say quasi-public because we're stepping beyond bus-and-metro territory here, people.
Ever heard of the Bixi? What about the Eco-Taxi?
Do I have your attention?

Let's start with the Bixi. The name is a contraction of "bicycle" and "taxi" and was chosen from some 9000 entries in a city-wide contest. The premise is that, starting April 2009, there will be 2.400 Bixis scattered across the city, giving you a healthier (and greener) option to taxis. Obviously, you couldn't Bixi back from IKEA (unless you have iron self control and were able to buy just the non-PVC shower curtain you went for), but for quick trips of a few kilometres, it's perfect.
How does it work?
Bixis are NOT electric (although they look and feel heavier than your average velo). The extra metal over the chain, etc is to reduce maintenance and increase convenience for those of us who bike in trousers and don't have clips.
They are made in Montreal and the locking stations are solar-powered and therefore almost totally self sustaining. The locking software was also locally sourced.

How much?
Bixi membership is as follows:
I year, paid at one shot: $78
I month at a time: $28
I day at a time: $5

If you use the bike for under half an hour, there's no extra charge over and above your membership fee. After that, you're charged a nominal sum per hour. This is merely to discourage folks from filching the bikes or keeping them overnight at their apartments. (Another reason to lock them in their docking stations: reduced risk of theft and not having to carry a 20kg bike up a winding Montreal stairway!)

Other notes:
Bixis are made almost completely of recycled aluminium. And they're funded by parking fees (Oh yeah! Finally, Montrealers can feel good about what we pay for parking).
The bikes will be available for about 9 months of the year (and locked away during the winter).
Unlike Communauto, Montreal's car-share service, you can drop off a Bixi at ANY docking station (not just the one you picked it up at).

Next, we move on to the eco taxi.
I have to run and be on the air right now, but check back here tomorrow for more info!
And tell me what you think: would you be willing to use these services or do you think they're silly?

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