BIXI shuts down for winter

The season is over for BIXI, Montreal's bike-sharing program.
Montreal's BIXI bike-sharing program is shutting down two weeks earlier than last year. (Raffy Boudjikanian/CBC)

The season is over for BIXI, Montreal's bike-sharing program.

According to a customer service representative for the company, as of Tuesday at midnight, it will no longer be possible to rent a BIXI bicycle, although returns will be allowed.

Over the last few weeks, several racks that house the popular bikes were pulled from the streets, and the number of available bikes was reduced.

The shutdown for winter comes earlier this year. Last year, the bicycles were running until the end of November, but BIXI representatives said the company was forced to scramble to remove the bikes after the city was hit by a snow storm.

BIXI has now wrapped up its third year in Montreal, and despite its popularity, the company's financial woes are ongoing.

The head of the bike-rental service, Roger Plamondon, announced his decision to resign at a company board meeting on November 10.

Plamondon said his departure was directly linked to the province's order that BIXI get rid of its profitable international sales arm. Quebec stepped in after the city of Montreal had offered a $108-million loan bailout to the company.

The bike-rental service was launched in Montreal in 2009. It now has operations in Toronto and Ottawa, as well as in New York City and London, England.