Electric-assisted Bixi bicycles are available in Montreal starting today
The bikes will stay on the racks until Nov. 15
Starting today, electric-assisted bicycles provided by the popular bike-sharing service Bixi will be available to Montreal cyclists for the same price as a regular Bixi bike.
The new bikes are blue, unlike regular silver Bixis, and will stay on the racks until Nov. 15. They roll at a maximum of 25 kilometres per hour, and the company will keep track of them electronically.
They cost the same amount to take out as regular Bixis.
There are only 20 of the electric-assisted bikes in circulation, because they're part of a pilot project to see how electric bikes can be integrated into the current Bixi system.
They can be found using the Bixi app — a small lightning bolt pictogram will come up at stations where the bikes are available.
The bicycle is a pedelec, which means the cyclist pedals it like a regular bicycle but the pedalling is assisted by a small electric motor.
"You really, really feel [it] when you go uphill," said Bixi spokesperson Christian Vermette. "Even a little slope. It's incredible the difference."
The process to rent one is the same as renting a regular bike — entering an unlock code or using the Bixi key.
The electric-assisted bicycles can be used on bike paths and will be equipped with a battery that runs out of juice after about 65 kilometres. Once that happens, the city will take the e-bikes off Bixi stands so that they can be recharged.
To pedal in electric-mode, users must be 18 or older, or hold a moped or motorized scooter licence, be taller than four feet and wear a helmet, according to the Highway Safety Code.
With files from Navneet Pall