Bixi Goes Global

From Bixi:

After having won numerous awards for being the best system in the world, BIXI has now been recognized by two large metropolises as the public bike system par excellence.

The mayor of London announced today the granting of a contract to set up a public bike system project. The mandate was given to the London-based group Serco, in association with BIXI. The project foresees creating a network of 6,000 bikes, 400 docking stations and 10,000 docking points that will be in service by 2010. The system in London will adapt Montréal’s system in order to respond to the specific needs of the city of London.

As well, BIXI has been granted the mandate to set up and operate a BIXI system in central Boston as well as the right to negotiate to expand the system to neighbouring municipalities. Central Boston will be served by a network that includes 2,500 bikes, 290 stations and 3,750 docking points, with the potential to expand to a 5,000-bike system.

Read the full press release

8 Responses to “Bixi Goes Global”

  • Wuss912 says:

    they were here doing a demo in san jose last week… it’s a pretty cool setup they have.

  • kevin says:

    looking at the prices on the bixi website – I don’t see where it would not pay just to buy a 200-300 dollar bike instead. The cost structure imo seems quite high, and 30 mins goes by quickly on a bike.
    I understand the zip car and the cost structure but a car is just so much more expensive.
    If I take a bike out for 2 hours it will cost me $15.50 if not a yearly member.

  • Graham says:

    Perhaps I don’t know enough about it, but why wouldn’t rental bikes come with rear racks and baskets to improve their utility? The added weight would mean next to nothing to the tourist, but might spark some light shopping or something.

  • Fritz says:

    I’m still mad at you, Wuss, for not bringing a camera with you at the demo :-)

  • brad says:

    I live in Montreal, so I get to see Bixis in action every day. The Bixis do have a front basket of sorts, that people use for handbags, briefcases, small shopping bags, etc., and I’ve seen a lot of people using it. I also see a lot of people using daypacks.

    As for the price structure, I think the main people using Bixis are a) tourists and b) people who for various reasons can’t or don’t want to own their own bikes. Many landlords don’t allow bikes to be kept on the balcony (I think there’s actually a law against it here), and most apartments are small. So you have to keep your bike on the street, and that means it’ll get vandalized or stolen eventually…even the cheap bikes that you’d think nobody would want. So you can buy a cheap bike every year or two, replacing it as it gets stolen or trashed by teenage vandals, or you can rent a Bixi.

    Keep in mind that Bixi is a combination of “bicycle” and “taxi.” It’s not meant to be your everyday bike, it’s meant to be used for short hops around town from one Bixi station to another (and they are strategically located all around the downtown and an increasing number of other neighbourhoods).

    I was a big skeptic of the Bixi when it was launched here, and I’m still a bit skeptical that it’ll maintain its popularity over the long haul, but for right now it’s thriving. I am impressed with how many of them I see on the streets. Most of the users appear to be tourists, but I also see a good number of commuters using them (men in business suits, for example).

    There have been a few hiccups in the system…it’s not all that intuitive to figure out how to rent a Bixi, there were some credit card snafus, and some of the bad accidents so far involving head injuries have prompted some concern that having Bixis around encourages people to ride without a helmet (i.e., people who otherwise would have taken a cab will take a Bixi, and many of those people are not experienced or safe urban riders, and they’re unlikely to have a helmet with them — this is especially true of tourists). The other issue is that occasionally you’ll come to your destination and find that the closest Bixi rack is full and you have to go find the next nearest one, which may take time. And I’ve seen a few empty racks as well, which is the other side of the problem….but a good one — it means they’re all being used!

    Overall I think the system is working well and is getting a lot of use.

  • jamesmallon says:

    Bixi is part of a long list of why Montreal is cooler than Toronto can ever be: think of comparing a French San Fransisco to Minneapolis or something midwest, but less interesting than Chicago. I live in Toronto, but seriously, never waste your time or money on a trip here. Montreal in summer rocks!

  • brad says:

    I forgot to mention in my previous comment that I think the main reason Bixis don’t have rear racks is that it would encourage people to take passengers. That would cut into rentals, but would probably also cause damage to the bike.

  • EcoVelo » Blog Archive » Nice Ride Minnesota says:

    […] Nice Ride Minnesota was developed by Public Bike System Co., the same group that developed Montreal’s Bixi and Denver’s B-Cycle systems. This new system features 700 bikes and 65 stations, and like […]

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