People Got To Move
When I think about those nights in Montreal…
… I get the sweetest thoughts of me and Bixi.
If there is a better way to see a city, to visit the nooks and crannies, get to neighbourhoods one might normally overlook while visiting another city, it hasn’t been invented yet.
Bixi, baby. Bixi.
2 years older than the Bixi Toronto with roughly 10 times the bikes and stations, Montreal offers up a vision of just how well a bike sharing program can serve a city. Yeah, yeah. I know it’s in the hole right now. Great ideas don’t always immediately take. And judging from the expressways and multi-lane roads running throughout the downtown core, Montreal is no less a car-oriented place than we are here. So it’s going to take time. But to abandon it at this early stage would be an admission that cycling really isn’t a vital component of your transit plan.
Travelling around a wide swath of Montreal on the Bixi network is pretty well effortless (if you don’t include trying to scale that one big mountain in the middle of the place.) The rhythm goes something like this: bike, walk, bike, walk, walk, bike, patio, bike, walk, patio, bike, walk, walk, patio, walk, patio, walk, bike, patio, patio, patio… You could replace some of those patio stops with a gallery or two. Shopping if you really must although, why would you when it takes time away from riding? And patio visiting.Of course, a bike sharing program alone cannot bring cycling to a wider number of users. People must be comfortable taking to the roads and that can only happen when they feel welcome onto a city’s streets, big and small. That means more accommodation to cyclists and an acknowledgement that the roads belong to them too. Without that, the Bixi idea will be little more than the cute novelty the name suggests.
— besottedly submitted by Cityslikr
If the target user is a casual cyclist, the bike is all wrong. It is about 22kg and that is a heavy machine to try to peddle up a hill or having to build up speed after each traffic light. Top gear is pretty light, lots of furious spinning to get the bike to go.
The payment structure isn’t as easy to figure out.
Maintenance of the bikes will sink the system. Took out two bikes and they had issue with a wobbly wheel and the other had a kink in the chain.
The bikes are designed for very short trips so I don’t see how weight would be an issue. There are really no significant hills downtown where you’d have to contend with a serious incline. If they ever put some stations up here on St Clair though…