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I dunno, I am a tad sceptical about the whole thing. The Bixi in Montreal has been operational since Spring, and I swear every time I have seen any of the stands they have been 100% full of bikes. I pay attention every time I go and I am quite sure the system is not being used very much at all there. :(
 

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Montreal's wheels of fortune
Lysiane Gagnon
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/opinions/montreals-wheels-of-fortune/article1380963/

It sounds like a pet's name, but Bixi is Montreal's biggest success in the past few years. It's a sturdy, sensible, yet handsome bike that anyone can rent to travel within city limits. The Bixi (short for “bicycle” and “taxi”), which was introduced last May, is modelled on Paris's Vélib – except it's much better.

Its inventor, designer Michel Dallaire, learned from the unhappy experiences of the Vélib and devised ways to minimize the risk of vandalism and theft. The Bixi is perfectly adapted to Montreal's punishing climate. It is made of rust-proof aluminum instead of steel, and the docking stations where the bikes can be rented – by swiping a credit card or using a membership key – and deposited after use, are entirely modular. They can be mounted and removed in 20 minutes without costly alterations to the streets and sidewalks.

Mr. Dallaire, an award-winning industrial designer, made sure that both the bicycles and the stations would be aesthetical. And they are. Even although some car drivers find them intrusive, the stations fit beautifully into the urban scenery. And the Bixi is totally made-in-Quebec – the only exception being the docking stations' keyboards, which are made in Israel. The bikes were built in Chicoutimi by Devinci, and Rio Tinto Alcan provided the aluminum.

No surprise, then, that Time magazine hailed the Bixi bike-sharing system as one of the 50 top inventions of 2008, and the U.S.-based Edison Award named it the best new product in its energy and sustainability category. The little bike has already travelled quite far. Both Boston and London have already bought the system and other cities, including New York, Toronto, Seattle and Vancouver, are potential buyers.

“Bixi is arguably Canada's most visible green-technology export these days,” writes Ottawa Citizen columnist Susan Riley. Not only is it “enhancing Montreal's reputation as a green, hip and design-conscious city,” Ms. Riley explains, “but it is a two-wheel vindication of the much criticized ‘Quebec model.' ” Indeed, the whole enterprise provides a powerful counterargument to those who believe that only the free market can bring wealth and social progress, since the Bixi is a pure product of a non-profit public corporation. Mr. Dallaire receives no royalties and the supervisors of the project were Montreal civil servants. It would have been cheaper to have the Bixi built in China, but the idea was to develop local expertise.

In Montreal, there are now 5,000 bikes available from 400 docking stations and late last month hit the one-million-trips mark.

About 50 bikes were stolen or vandalized during the summer, but since then the security system has been successfully modified. There's no comparison with the Paris Vélib system: About 80 per cent of its fleet of 20,600 bicycles have been vandalized or stolen, some found in the Seine or abandoned in faraway suburbs.

Some Montrealers have complained about the cost. A subscription costs $78 a year – a year being a bit of a fiction in a city where biking is impossible during the winter. But using a credit card, one can pay $5 to rent a Bixi for 24 hours, which seems more than reasonable, the only inconvenience being that the bike must be checked in at a station every half hour to avoid paying a penalty.

All in all it's a good deal for those whose nerves are solid enough to withstand Montreal's anarchic traffic on two wheels, let alone the city's many steep slopes, which require especially strong legs.

Now, did the Bixi substantially increase the percentage of people who routinely use a bike rather than a car to go to and from work? This is doubtful, for despite the wishful thinking of the bicycle aficionados, Montreal is not about to become a North American Amsterdam.

---
 

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a smashing success? I am extremely curious why every time I saw one this summer (at the peak of tourism period) or in this past autumn that hardly any were in use, day after day. In fact, I did not see even one being used on the streets on either trip. The annual fee of $78 is not that short of a blue Supercycle at Canadian Tire:

















 

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a smashing success? I am extremely curious why every time I saw one this summer (at the peak of tourism period) or in this past autumn that hardly any were in use, day after day. In fact, I did not see even one being used on the streets on either trip. The annual fee of $78 is not that short of a blue Supercycle at Canadian Tire:
TB, anecdotal experience to the contrary, BIXI is not financially threatened, and at over 1 million riders in its inaugural year, it has a very solid ridership base to build on. In many ways, it has been very much a success story.

The annual fee misses the point as BIXI is designed for short haul convenience trips that don't necessarily begin or end on a bike. The fact that the entire system is based on a community building non-profit model (although this needn't have been the case at all) is especially admirable.
 

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TB, anecdotal experience to the contrary, BIXI is not financially threatened, and at over 1 million riders in its inaugural year, it has a very solid ridership base to build on. In many ways, it has been very much a success story.

The annual fee misses the point as BIXI is designed for short haul convenience trips that don't necessarily begin or end on a bike. The fact that the entire system is based on a community building non-profit model (although this needn't have been the case at all) is especially admirable.
"BIXI is not financially threatened, and at over 1 million riders in its inaugural year, it has a very solid ridership base to build on. "

Well, that is the claim of the City, but the City also has a vested interest in trying to sell their system around the world so who knows what is the truth?
They invested a LOT of money in creating that bicycle style, and would love for it to spread around the world. All I know is what I saw on two trips, and it did not look widely used to me. Sorry if I am doubtful, but in this particular case I do not believe everything I read.
Here was another shot from this past trip. I was truly astounded that so few bikes were missing from the stations I saw every day:

 

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Some documentation from the last summer, in french

canoe.qc.ca
Mathieu Turbide
19/06/2009 07h57



À l'approche de l'été, la popularité des Bixi a monté en flèche depuis une semaine.
Les statistiques d'utilisation du Bixi ont explosé depuis le début juin et particulièrement depuis une semaine. Les journées de samedi et de dimanche dernier ont été particulièrement occupées autour des stations Bixi, avec près de 10 000 trajets pour chacune de ces journées.

Il se fait maintenant plus de déplacements en Bixi en une seule journée qu'il ne s'en faisait en toute une semaine au début du déploiement des stations Bixi à Montréal, à la mi-mai.


«On a rejoint les données européennes après seulement un mois d'opération. Ça va beaucoup plus vite que ce que nous avions prévu. On constate que le Bixi s'est imposé très rapidement dans les habitudes des Montréalais», a commenté le porte-parole de Bixi, Michel Philibert.

5 000 membres

Le nombre d'abonnés du Bixi a dépassé le cap des 5 000 membres en milieu de semaine. «Environ 150 personnes chaque jour deviennent membres de Bixi. C'est plus que ce qu'on espérait. Durant la fin de semaine du Tour de l'île, nous avons eu des pointes de plus de 200 nouveaux abonnements par jour», précise M. Philibert.

En complet sur un Bixi

Toutefois, la majorité des utilisateurs de Bixis, plus de 31 000, sont encore des utilisateurs occasionnels, qui paient les frais d'utilisation quotidiens de 5 $. «Ce que l'on voit, c'est que les gens l'essaient pour une journée et que ça se traduit par des abonnements», note le porte-parole.

Le succès du Bixi semble se confirmer même en pleine semaine, puisque plus de 7 600 déplacements ont été effectués au cours de la journée de mardi dernier.

Selon M. Philibert, cela s'explique par le fait que plusieurs travailleurs du centre-ville l'ont adopté. «On voit des gens en complet se déplacer en Bixi. On a réussi à rejoindre une clientèle professionnelle, pas seulement une clientèle de loisirs. »

Le maire de Montréal, Gérald Tremblay, dit ne pas être surpris. «C'était anticipé. C'est un projet extraordinaire développé ici et qui intéresse maintenant d'autres villes à travers le monde. On a foncé avec le Bixi et tout le monde est content», a-t-il souligné, en précisant qu'il s'était lui aussi abonné au service et qu'il l'avait déjà utilisé à quelques reprises.


Transport
Montréal est Bixi
Agence QMI Julie Charette
26/06/2009 12h49


Près de six semaines après son arrivée dans les rues de la Métropole, le Bixi compte plus de 5700 membres.

La Ville de Montréal estime que depuis le lancement du Bixi le 12 mai dernier, 1 039 615 kilomètres, soit 25 fois le tour de la Terre, ont été parcourus avec ce vélo en libre-service.

D'après les données compilées par la Ville, les 175 000 déplacements effectués en Bixi représentent 260 000 kilos de gaz à effet de serre et 72 773 litres d'essences.

Le vice-président du comité exécutif et responsable du plan de transport, André Lavallée, s'est félicité aujourd'hui que le Bixi fasse déjà «partie du quotidien de nombreux Montréalais».

À titre de projet pilote, les Bixi sont disponibles jusqu'à la fin septembre à Ottawa et à Gatineau.



Montréal
Plus que deux semaines en Bixi
Agence QMI Frédéric Pepin
01/11/2009 20h44



À l’exception de quelques stations qui demeureront ouvertes jusqu’au 30 novembre, la majorité des Bixi disparaîtra du paysage montréalais le 15 novembre prochain. Les usagers du service ne disposent donc plus que de deux semaines pour utiliser les vélos.

Signe que la fin de la saison approche, dimanche, le personnel de la Société de vélos libre-service de Montréal commençait déjà à retirer des rues les stations les moins fréquentées ainsi qu’à réduire la taille de plusieurs autres.

Les installations seront rangées pendant la saison morte, dans un entrepôt situé dans l’arrondissement de Lachine. Selon le président du conseil de la Société de vélo libre-service, Roger Plamondon, ce lieu doit rester secret pour des raisons de sécurité.

La première saison des Bixi se terminera le 15 novembre, au même moment où fermeront les pistes cyclables de la Métropole. Cependant, selon ce qu’on peut lire sur le site web de la Ville, «plusieurs stations seront fonctionnelles jusqu’au 30 novembre».

Les Bixi en chiffres

Comptant 3000 vélos lors du lancement en mai, il y avait 5000 Bixi à Montréal à la fin du mois d’octobre. Tout près de 400 stations font partie du décor montréalais.

La Société de vélos libre-service compte plus d’un million de déplacements avec ses vélos. Dix mille Montréalais sont membres du service.

Le début de la prochaine saison est prévu pour le 1er mai 2010.
 

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Well, that is the claim of the City, but the City also has a vested interest in trying to sell their system around the world so who knows what is the truth?
They invested a LOT of money in creating that bicycle style, and would love for it to spread around the world. All I know is what I saw on two trips, and it did not look widely used to me. Sorry if I am doubtful, but in this particular case I do not believe everything I read.
As Bixi is run under the auspices of Stationnement de Montréal, it means that it is fully audited. I doubt the municipality is interested in cooking books. Bixi is non-profit enterprise so exporting the system elsewhere would certainly not be worth the eventual fraud charges.

Perception does not equal reality. Is Toronto the most crime ridden city in Canada? No, but the perception is that 'all the crime happens there' although statistically that is simply not true.
 

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An other one.

Publié le 29 mai 2009 à 23h50 | Mis à jour le 29 mai 2009 à 23h53

Bixi: Déjà plus de 2000 trajets chaque jour et des pénuries

Charles Côté
La Presse


Même le mauvais temps ne freine pas la lancée du Bixi. Malgré la pluie qui est tombée cette semaine, les vélos en libre-service ont passé le cap des 2000 trajets quotidiens.

«En général, on est très satisfaits», dit Michel Philibert, porte-parole de Stationnement de Montréal, qui gère le système.

Cela n'empêche pas le nouveau chouchou des citadins de connaître des maux de croissance, deux semaines après son lancement. Des usagers peinent parfois à trouver une borne libre pour rendre leur Bixi. Dans d'autres cas, c'est l'inverse: pénurie de Bixi à louer.

À propos des problèmes de stationnement, des ajustements seront apportés. «Les stations ne sont pas complètes, dit M. Philibert. Certaines vont augmenter de taille, comme celles qui sont toujours pleines, par exemple au métro Mont-Royal.»

Actuellement, il y a plus de deux places pour chacun des vélos déployés (plus de 1700 places pour 824 vélos dans 154 stations). Ce rapport se maintiendra pendant tout le déploiement, qui se poursuivra jusqu'à ce que l'objectif de 300 stations et 2400 vélos soit atteint.

Des phénomènes prévisibles sont déjà observables: les Bixi et leurs utilisateurs ont tendance à descendre les côtes ensemble, mais à les remonter séparément!

«C'est typique, dit M. Philibert. Il y a des gens qui partent en haut de la côte Berri, descendent dans le Vieux-Port et laissent leur vélo là. Ils remontent en métro ou autrement. On a un camion qui prend des vélos et qui les rapporte en haut.»

«On est en train d'apprendre quels sont les déplacements naturels des gens, dit-il. Pour les deux premiers mois, on est en rodage. On constitue une banque de données.»

Il ne signale pas encore de vol -en tout cas, aucun usager ne s'est encore vu réclamer les 1000$ prévus en cas de disparition d'un Bixi. Il avertit toutefois les usagers d'être prudents au moment de rendre leur monture. «Il faut attendre le voyant vert et le signal lumineux, sinon quelqu'un d'autre pourrait partir avec le vélo.»

Le système Bixi doit s'autofinancer en trois ans, dit M. Philibert. Bixi comptait hier 2359 membres ayant payé l'abonnement annuel de 78$ ou le mensuel de 28$. Stationnement de Montréal, une filiale de la chambre de commerce du Montréal métropolitain, gère les parcomètres et les stationnements municipaux depuis 1995.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
$78 per year is a good deal, if you actually add up the numbers. Your cheap Supercycle will need more than $78 in repairs after a year of heavy use. And the geometry of cheap bikes is terrible for use in the city.
 

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$78 per year is a good deal, if you actually add up the numbers. Your cheap Supercycle will need more than $78 in repairs after a year of heavy use. And the geometry of cheap bikes is terrible for use in the city.

That was a good point right there. Just to do a basic tune up which is moreover a visual check, that would go for $25-$45. What about when it comes to true the spokes.. The list can go on and on.
 

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A Supercycle lasts me two years riding year round, but I am hard core and use it close to 365 days per year, or about 700 days in total. I'm guessing Bixi is seasonal and not available in the winter. I can take it anywhere, park it outside where I go, and it gets me right back to my house, not the nearest depot. If someone steals it, I am only responsible to replace a cheapo Supercycle. For a normal person, they should easily be able to get four years from a Supercycle. A person who only uses bikes on weekends will get a decade from their cheapo bike. I am the least mechanical person in the world, and can handle maintenance and "tune ups" myself. I've never had to true the spokes on any bike. Most problems I have had have been dealt with under the warranty.

I don't think $78 is outrageous for someone who uses a bike a lot in the summer, and who does not ride in the winter and who lives close to a bike port. If you don't live close to one, it would be a pain walking back and forth to it. That is less than 20 bucks a month, and is pretty cheap transit. The Bixi bikes are quite cool looking and I would like to try riding one... they look heavy, but it is hard to tell.

I wonder how it works... do you have to return the bike each day? What would happen if you kept it out over night? Is there a time limit on how long you use it? Can you tie it up outside the store where you are shopping, and keep the same bike all day, or do you have to keep checking it in at a bike port and then getting another later?
 

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Discussion Starter #19
A Supercycle lasts me two years riding year round, but I am hard core and use it close to 365 days per year, or about 700 days in total. I'm guessing Bixi is seasonal and not available in the winter. I can take it anywhere, park it outside where I go, and it gets me right back to my house, not the nearest depot. If someone steals it, I am only responsible to replace a cheapo Supercycle. For a normal person, they should easily be able to get four years from a Supercycle. A person who only uses bikes on weekends will get a decade from their cheapo bike. I am the least mechanical person in the world, and can handle maintenance and "tune ups" myself. I've never had to true the spokes on any bike. Most problems I have had have been dealt with under the warranty.
My friend's supercycle lasted exactly 3 winter days. The salt made his gears literally disintegrate overnight. Do you do anything to prevent salt damage?

According to sources at city hall, the Toronto Bixi will be year-round. Montreal had to remove them because their on-street stations interfered with snow removal, but Toronto's will supposedly be on sidewalks.

I wonder how it works... do you have to return the bike each day? What would happen if you kept it out over night? Is there a time limit on how long you use it? Can you tie it up outside the store where you are shopping, and keep the same bike all day, or do you have to keep checking it in at a bike port and then getting another later?
Your first 30 minutes are free to members, then you have to return t or swap it, or you will be charged $1.50 for the next 30 minutes. The idea is that you return it to the nearest station instead of locking it up.
 

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My friend's supercycle lasted exactly 3 winter days. The salt made his gears literally disintegrate overnight. Do you do anything to prevent salt damage?

According to sources at city hall, the Toronto Bixi will be year-round. Montreal had to remove them because their on-street stations interfered with snow removal, but Toronto's will supposedly be on sidewalks.


Your first 30 minutes are free to members, then you have to return t or swap it, or you will be charged $1.50 for the next 30 minutes. The idea is that you return it to the nearest station instead of locking it up.
?? You mean the $78 does not cover your usage, only the first 30 minutes each time? :eek: That is a horse of an entirely different colour. I was thinking the 78 bucks was what you pay for an entire season, unlimited use. A typical day for me on my bike will mean I stop and lock it up at different destinations from 2-10 times, and be out for as long as 12 or more hours. For my purposes Bixi simply would not work, and again I am surprised so many people apparently are using the service, considering how cost conscious people are. I just read the article in its entirety, and according to their claims, each and every of the 5000 bicycles has been used the statistical equivalent of 1.1 times a day, rain or shine, for the six month period.

What is the cost after the first 30 minutes? If it is like the one in Paris, it will cost a small fortune to keep the bike out all day.

I can't imagine a Supercycle quitting in three days. Your friend must be even more technically challenged than I. You get some WD-40 oil, and squirt it on the chain once in awhile. For me in winter this means about four times. Clean the chain once in a blue moon with a wire brush. Winter is WAY harder on a bike than summer, but like a car, or a marriage, you have to put in a bare minimum of maintenance if you want it to work.
 
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