10 more years of Bixi: Bike-sharing to be in all 19 boroughs by 2028
38 million rides since service launched in 2008, Bixi Montreal says
Montreal's bicycle-sharing service will keep operating until at least 2028.
The City of Montreal reached an agreement with the not-for-profit corporation Bixi Montreal to keep the bikes on city streets for the next 10 years.
Bixi is promising to be in all 19 of the city's boroughs by then, in time for the 20th anniversary of the service's operation in the city.
The agreement shows that Bixi's administrators have "rebuilt the confidence and pride of Montrealers," said the chair of Bixi Montreal, Marie Elaine Farley, in a statement.
"Montrealers love it," said Coun. Éric Alan Caldwell, the executive committee member in charge of transportation. "We have a good service. It's safe, and it's reliable."
The city took over Bixi's local operations after the company filed for bankruptcy in 2014, with $50 million owed to creditors, including Montreal.
Bixi's current fleet is made up of 6,250 bicycles and 540 docking stations.
"You will see three big expansions in the next three years," said Bixi CEO Christian Vermette. "Over those next three years we will cover all the boroughs of Montreal."
As previously announced, Bixi will expand to five new boroughs this year: Lachine, Saint-Laurent, Montréal-North, Anjou and Saint-Léonard.
Sixty new docking stations and 1,000 bicycles will be added to the network when the season begins in April.
The company says a record 5.3 million trips were made last year, representing an 11 per cent increase over the previous season.
Given that success, Caldwell said it makes sense to partner with Bixi for the next 10 years.
This will "help us find new solutions, give more and better service to Montrealers," he told reporters.
"Bixi is well-operated. Bixi has good financial status."