City rolls out bike rental program

The City of Montreal unveiled their new public bike rental system this week. The “Bixi” – a combination of the words “bike” and a “taxi” is part of the city’s plan to make Montreal more sustainable.
“For too long the car has been king,” said Darren Becker, spokesperson for the mayor’s office. “You don’t need a car anymore.”
The city plans to build 300 Bixi stations throughout downtown and the surrounding area, including one at both Concordia campuses, for a total of 2,400 bikes. If the project is successful, the city already has plans to increase both the number of bikes and stations.
Renting a bike will cost $5 a day, $28 for a monthly pass, or $78 for a seven-month pass. The passes include the first 30 minutes per session, with an additional charge of $1.50 for each additional half hour.
The bikes are designed and built in Quebec and are completely recyclable. The bike stations will also be solar-powered so they don’t leave any environmental footprints.
A year in the making, the plan was inspired by the success of a similar service that started in Paris over a year ago.
The bikes will be on tour around the downtown area for the next five weeks with Bixi personnel showing the public the bikes and their features. The city intends for the system to be up and running for next spring.

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