|The Bixi bike|
I haven’t spend much time on this blog talking about la belle province so for all you francophones “Bonjour.”Today in Toronto they introduced BIXI which is a public bike system that had its start in Montréal.The components are manufactured in Quebec. After the recent federal election on Monday where almost all of the ridings in the province elected NDP candidates some Ontario folks said that the bikes are painted in red and tend to swerve to the left. This is definitely not true.
BIXI est conçu pour les courts déplacements. La tarification encourage une utilisation fréquente et de courte durée. Il faut d'abord s'abonner ou prendre un accès 24 ou 72 heures pour utiliser le service. Reprenez un vélo autant de fois que vous le voulez pour 45 minutes ou moins, des frais s'appliquent pour les trajets plus longs. (BIXI is designed for short trips. Pricing encourages frequent use and short duration. You must first subscribe or pay for access to 24 or 72 hours to use the service. Take a bicycle as many times as you want for 45 minutes or less, fees apply for longer trips.) Today Montreal has 5,000 bikes and 400 stations where you can rent a bike.There is a $78 per year in Montréal and a $95 per year in Toronto subscription fee (taxes included) or $5 for access to a bike for 24 hours.
The bikes are hybrid with a single aluminum frame construction, heavy duty tires and LED lights built into the frame. They are based on the Vélib’ pubic bike system in Paris but are more sophisticated. The cables, derailleur, chain protector, brakes and light system are built into the frame for durability and low maintenance. It also has an adjustable seat. Montréal has 500 km of bike paths and trails. Toronto has 160 km of bike paths as well as 250 km of bike lanes on streets but hopes to increase the number of bike paths dramatically. They are building a new set of paths near my home and I’m waiting for them to complete them so I’ll have more off road places to ride my bike. Green power!Here’s a video of the Montreal BIXI system.