Time Mag Digs Montreal Bike-Share

08_11_Bixi_MontrealParking.jpg

Bixi, Montreal’s new public bicycle-sharing program, has been listed among Time Magazine’s 50 Best Inventions of 2008.
While a pilot version of the system debuted this fall, the real action
begins next spring, when 2,400 bicycles will appear on city streets
along with 300 solar-powered stations.

The
bikes are designed to withstand the abuses of careless users or
vandals, but they won’t have to endure the harsh Montreal winters. The
program runs only from mid-April through mid-November.

The
pricing structure encourages short, frequent trips. After paying a flat
membership fee ($78 full season, $28 monthly, or $5 daily), any trip of
less than 30 minutes is free. Each 30-minute period beyond that costs
from $1.50 to $6. Montreal invested $15 million in Bixi, and expects to
recoup costs.

What
could New York learn from Bixi? In addition to the general bike-sharing
concept, this city could benefit from modular bike racks that are
rapidly installed and expanded to meet growing rider demand, as shown here.

Photo: Stationnement de Montreal via The Bike-sharing Blog

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