Spring has sprung: Montreal releases its Bixis for 10th season

Montreal's popular bike-sharing service is launching its summer season today, five days earlier than usual.

Ridership was up by 10 per cent last year

Bixi launched its 2018 season Tuesday. (Charles Contant/CBC)

Montreal's popular bike-sharing service is launching its 10th season today, five days earlier than usual. 

"We've had a harsh winter, to say the least … but with Bixi here, we can say that spring is here — I hope, to stay, " Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante said at the launch this morning. 

When Bixi first launched in 2009, the service had 3,000 bikes mainly located in the downtown core. 

It's now grown to 6,250 bikes and 540 stations spread across the city. 

"Bixi is deeply rooted in the DNA of Montreal," Plante said. 

Free rides, new discounts this season

The Bixi model was founded in Montreal and has spread to several major metropolitan cities. It hasn't been all smooth sailing though.

Several years ago, Bixi filed for bankruptcy protection. In 2014, the city took over the service and overhauled the management structure.

More than 258,000 people used Bixis in 2017, representing a grand total of 4.8 million trips. It was a 10 per cent jump over the 2016 totals.The service started offering free rides on the last Sunday of the month, which contributed to those final numbers. 

Free Bixi Sundays will return this summer, the organization confirmed, on the following dates:

  • May 27.
  • June 24.
  • July 29.
  • Aug. 26.
  • Sept. 30. 
  • Oct. 28.

Bixi is also offering discounts to full-time students and seniors with photo Opus cards this year as well as a new 10-trip package.