Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Montreal's Public Bike System

Montreal is well on its way to becoming Canada's first, and one of North America's first, 3rd generation bike-sharing programs with 2,400 bikes and 300 stations by the spring of 2009 as CNW Telbec reports:

"Stationnement de Montréal created the innovative Public Bike System (PBS), which it will also manage. The system includes bikes, technical platforms, bike docks, pay stations and proprietary software that runs it all.

"The design of the physical components of the system was entrusted to world-renowned industrial designer Michel Dallaire. The bikes feature clean lines and a sleek look that is carried over to other system components. The bikes are also notable for their sturdiness and safety.

" 'This is a unique concept that will allow any interested city to acquire a public bike system that can be rapidly set up on their territory with no technological development or infrastructure costs,' said Alain Ayotte, executive vice president of Stationnement de Montréal.

"Innovation is another hallmark of the PBS. It employs cutting-edge technologies to their best advantage: the entire system is solar-powered and uses wireless communication. All the components are modular and require no permanent installation. With no need for external energy sources, stations can be installed in virtually any location without incurring expensive infrastructure work. Stations can be set up in a matter of minutes, leaving no trace of their presence once they are removed. User-friendly, the system requires only an access card or credit card with no intermediaries.

" 'By developing the Public Bike System from a clean sheet, Stationnement de Montréal is in a position to deliver a high-quality, turnkey product that has been pre-tested to optimize efficiency, suitable for cities big and small,' added Mr. Ayotte."

If you have any ideas for naming their program, you can do so at The grand prize is a lifetime subscription to the program.

image credit: Public Bike System

1 comment:

Morten Lange (Reykjavík) said...

Sounds really exciting ! If i an not mistaken, Montreal will rank as one of the cities with the largest fleets of self service bikes in the spring of 2009 ? I read the article you linked to but saw nothing about financing nor rates ?

On a related note : The system will be operated in conjunction with the operator of street parking in Montreal.

Hmm. Begs the question of how much parking is subsidised in Montreal, if all societal costs of easy car access are considered. Many studies indicate that cycling is of net benefit compared to alternatives. (energy expenditure, emissions polluting locally and globally, accessibility, community structure and "feel" ) Even compares favourably to walking as exercise + speed + energy and given that lack of exercise strains health budgets, workplaces and families / individuals.

Parking of cars financing bike sharing would only be logical.

- Morten