Friday, October 19, 2007
Montreal rushing to share bikes
An article titled "Montreal pedals way to 'self-serve' first" in The Gazette (Montreal) states, "The first city-issue self-serve bicycles will start to appear at specially designed outdoor bike stations in the fall of 2008. By the fall of 2009 [..], there should be 2,400 bikes available for rent for as little as $1 per half-hour of use at 300 stations around the city's central neighbourhoods, [Andre Lavallee, executive committee member responsible for Montreal's transportation issues] said."
This won't be the first program in North America as D.C. is getting pretty close to launching, but it looks like it could be the first in Canada... unless those folks in Vancouver have something to say about it! Based on the number of bikes and investment (below), however, this could be the largest bike-sharing program in North America.
"The city has commissioned Stationnement Montreal, a subsidiary of the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal, to design and execute the bike rental system. The company, which currently manages the city's paid on-street and public parking lots, will invest $15 million to get the project up and running, and expects to eventually recoup these costs."
"We used to see cycling as recreation, but now thousands of people are using bikes to get to work, or school. This summer, we actually saw traffic jams of cyclists on some of our new bike routes, like St. Urbain. Something is changing right now in Montreal and we all have to come along on this wave," said Lavallee.
Something is changing indeed.
photo credit: Conférence de Montréal