Laval gets new made-in-Quebec electric bike-sharing service

Users over the age of 18 can register for a magnetic key which they'll use to unlock the bike, get the mobile app or get a temporary unlock code on site.

Season pass to use 40 available electric-assist bikes costs $40

The new service will have four bike drop locations: De la Concorde Metro station, Cartier Metro, Montmorency Metro and the Carrefour Laval. (CBC)

Laval inaugurated its new electric bike-sharing service Thursday, offering a Bixi-style model with 40 bikes and four service points where users can pick up and drop off bikes.

The electric bikes are manufactured by Quebec company Bewegen, which has already set up similar operations in 20 European cities.

The bike was designed by Michel Dallaire — the same man who designed the Bixi — and the models are manufactured in Saint-Georges, Que., in the Chaudière-Appalaches region.

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.

Users over the age of 18 can register for a magnetic key which they'll use to unlock the bike, get the mobile app or get a temporary unlock code on site. It is mandatory for users to wear a helmet.

The four pick-up/drop-off locations are: 

  • Montmorency Metro station.
  • Cartier Metro station.
  • De la Concorde Metro station.
  • Carrefour Laval.
The bikes were designed by Michel Dallaire, the same person who designed the Bixi and manufactured in Quebec. (CBC)

Laval Mayor Marc Demers said he's excited about the new service and that it speaks to a larger municipal goal of making the city more friendly to cyclists.

"It's been our goal to go in that direction," he said. 

Demers said he and his wife both bought electric bicycles six months ago.
Laval Mayor Marc Demers took a spin on the new pedelec Thursday. (CBC)

"We love it," he told CBC. "It makes cycling available to all people, no matter what physical condition you're in, no matter what age."

Part of growing electrified transit industry

Alain Ayotte, CEO and co-founder of Bewegen Technologies, explained that each bike comes with a screen on the handlebar showing its electric charge level and how long it will last.

Ayotte said the industry is only growing and he hopes to expand the service to other locations in the province.

"We see a big move toward electrified transit," he said. "What we see in our vision is to provide electric bike systems to all communities in Quebec."

Funding for the project comes from the federal and provincial governments and is meant to encourage more active, communal transport options.

A season pass costs $40. You don't need to buy a season pass: an individual ride costs $2 for the first 45 minutes, with an additional $2 per half hour after that.

With files from CBC's Matt D'Amours