Project 365 – Day 107: BIXI back on the streets of Montreal

April 16 2012

Yesterday was the official launch date of the start to the 4th season of the Montreal bike sharing program – BIXI. Although the city has been slowly rolling out the stations and bikes over the last 2 weeks, yesterday the full compliment of 5,120 bikes were made available across the network of 411 stations. And with temperatures hitting 28 degrees today, the roll out was very timely and in great demand.

Bixi back on the streets of Montreal

Bixi back on the streets of Montreal

The above shot was taken at the station on blvd de Maisonneuve and de Bleury. I decided to shoot here as I knew it was quite a big station with 53 bike docks and thankfully most were full enabling me to shoot down the long line of bikes.

The bike path along Maisonneuve is highlighted along the length by these neat sign posts.

Bike path signs on blvd de Maisonneuve

Bike path signs on blvd de Maisonneuve

Another large station can be found on Square Phillips opposite la Baie department store, so I grabbed another shot, but this time looking between the two BIXI docking stations that run parallel to each other.

Square Phillips Bixi bike station

Square Phillips Bixi bike station

The BIXI bike sharing program has grown in popularity and (in my opinion) is probably one of the City’s greatest accomplishments with sales of the system being made Internationally. The following cities now use the BIXI design:

City Launch date Bikes Stations
London:Barclays Cycle Hire 2010 9,200 687
Montreal:BIXI 2009 5,120 411
Washington DC/Arlington:Capital Bike Share 2010 1,300 151
Toronto:BIXI 2011 1,000 80
Minneapolis:Nice Ride Minnesota 2010 700 116
Boston:Hubway 2011 610 61
Melbourne:Bike Share 2010 600 52
Ottawa/Gatineau:Capital BIXI 2011 100 10
Washington State University:GreenBike Program 2010 54 9

Unfortunately the courts ruled that a public body (IE the City of Montreal) is forbidden from engaging in for-profit business activities and are now being forced to sell the International business arm – this after tax payers of Montreal provided BIXI with $108 million in loans and loan guarantees. Basically the International sales were helping to subsidize the Montreal system.

In 2012 an annual pass in Montreal costs $80.50, which allows members to use a bike as many times as they want for 45 minutes or less with no additional fees. If you run over your allowed 45 minutes then usage fees are payable. Visitors or infrequent users are able to purchase 24 hr ($7), 72 hr ($15) or 30 day ($30.25) passes.

Another issue of contention in Montreal has been the selling of advertising on the bikes. Introduced last year, advertising (Rio Tinto Alcan, Telus and Desjardins) was placed on the front baskets and rear wheel covers. Immediately people rebelled at the publicity by defacing the company names. One inventive act was sticker bombing bikes that had a certain Desjardins ad campaign (logo and a client name) and replacing the name with the names of rap artists like Wu-Tang, Gucci Mane, Lil Wayne, Lil B and others. People began snapping pics of the bikes with rapper names and posting on social networks…I wonder what this year will bring.

If you have used a BIXI bike in any of the other Cities mentioned above, I would love to hear what you think in the comments below.

Since I’m on a bike theme today, I shot a couple of cycle signs as well.

Bike path road markings

Bike path road markings

Bike traffic signal on avenue des Pins

Bike traffic signal on avenue des Pins

Back in March I shot a bike on blvd Saint Laurent decorated with flowers. Well I think there must be trend or a flower bike competition going on as I found this beautifully flower adorned bike up on avenue du Parc….so far, this one is winning the flower power on 2 wheels battle.

Flower bike on ave du Parc

Flower bike on ave du Parc

Spring bike

Spring bike

Have you seen any similar flower bikes in your neighborhood, if so, do share !

To view images in gallery format, simply click on one of the images below.

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Thanks for stopping by. Until next time.

– Martin

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