Montreal to ramp up Bixi service with 1,000 new bikes, 80 new docking stations
'We're responding to the love Montrealers have showed for Bixi,' Montreal's point-person says
Two years after filing for bankruptcy protection, Montreal's Bixi bike-sharing service is expanding, with 1,000 more bikes and 80 more docking stations planned for 2017.
Coun. Marc-André Gadoury, Mayor Denis Coderre's point person on cycling, said the latest investment is the city's way of saying "thank you" to Montrealers for supporting Bixi.
"Daily average use and peak weekly use are up, so we're responding to the love people have shown for Bixi and putting money where Montrealers want us to."
'Intelligent' docking stations
The City of Montreal and Bixi will spend just under $10 million over the next three years for the new equipment and other improvements, including:
- $3.9 million in 2017 for 80 new stations and 1,000 new bikes.
- $869,000 in 2017 to convert 540 docking stations into "intelligent" stations where users can pay with OPUS cards.
- $1.6 million from 2017-2019 to add 706 new spaces to existing docking stations.
- $3 million in 2019 to begin replacing aging equipment.
Back from the dead
Bixi filed for bankruptcy protection 2014, when the city took over the service and overhauled the management structure.
The company says its popularity has been steadily growing since then, with the average number of daily trips in 2016 at 21,000, compared to 16,000 in 2014.
Despite the growing popularity, Gadoury says taxpayers will continue to subsidize Bixi.
"They have surpluses, but they're investing their surpluses in the network. Bixi is not paying for itself. It's a public transit service option for active mobility," Gadoury said.