More than 50,000 trips | BIXIs will continue to be available during the winter

BIXI Montreal will continue to be available during the winter season until further notice. More than 50,000 people used the bike-sharing organization’s services this winter, an average of more than 3,700 trips per day. And a large majority of users tested winter cycling for the very first time.


“This is an exceptional result,” argued Tuesday the general director of BIXI, Christian Vermette, during a press conference organized at the Maison du vélo, on Le Plateau–Mont-Royal.

From November 16 to March 22, 53,000 people used the organization’s bicycles, an average of 3,727 trips per day, much more than initial projections. A survey carried out last March among 3,400 users also showed that 24% of them renewed their subscription during the winter, while estimates pointed more towards 13%, at most.

Furthermore, 65% of users said that this first pilot project allowed them to test winter cycling for the first time. “It shows that expanding the offer brings more people,” says Mr. Vermette on this subject.

If the season was mild, the network “responded well” during the seven periods of snow removal and the episodes of ice that occurred this winter in Montreal, he said. “There were no major issues,” said the CEO, recalling nevertheless that the accumulation of snow and ice at the anchor points prevented some users from returning their bikes at the end of their journey. . Fixes have since been taken.

PHOTO ALAIN ROBERGE, LA PRESSE ARCHIVES

The accumulation of snow and ice at anchor points prevented some users from returning their bikes at the end of their trip, but corrective measures have been taken.

An early season

As of this Tuesday, 400 stations will be open and added to the 150 anchor points that remained in place during the winter. In short, around 65% of the 850 stations will be available now. And on April 8, there will be around 720 stations, which represents 85% of the network. Such an early opening is a first for BIXI.

“More than one in four Montrealers uses BIXI today, and that’s without counting the citizens of the seven other cities that already offer the service,” said the organization’s interim president, Sylvia Morin. She says she expects “several other municipalities to join us in 2024”.

The City of Montreal is delighted with these announcements. “Demand is extremely strong. (…) The intention of the pilot project was also to see if there was an appetite for winter cycling. And it is clear today that yes,” noted the head of mobility on the executive committee, Sophie Mauzerolle.

After breaking another usage record in 2023, BIXI Montreal announced in March its intention to increase the number of self-service bikes on its Montreal network by 13%, in addition to adding stations.

The City has in fact approved an expenditure of 7 million for the purchase of 1,300 bicycles, 68 electrically assisted bicycles and 32 stations, which will add 736 anchor points across the metropolis. Currently, the network has around 10,000 bicycles in Montreal.

Over the entire year of 2023, BIXI bikes were used by 576,000 cyclists, a jump of 31%. More than 11 million trips were made, with several days seeing more than 70,000 trips.

PHOTO HUGO-SÉBASTIEN AUBERT, LA PRESSE ARCHIVES

Over the entire year 2023, BIXI bicycles were used by 576,000 cyclists.

Soon huge stations

This autumn, The Press revealed that BIXI would acquire “megastations” starting this year to tackle the recurring problem of empty or inaccessible stations in certain sectors. Crossroads containing up to 400 anchor points should appear in 2024 in the heart of the metropolis.

“The project is going quite well, we just have to be patient. These are stations that will take up a lot of space, so getting the permits takes a lot of time. We must respect the steps, but there will be announcements soon,” Christian Vermette said on Tuesday.

However, users will have to pay more in 2024: the season pass, valid from April 15 to November 15, will increase from $99 to $107, an increase of 8%.

The monthly subscription, for its part, will increase from $20 to $22 for the next year. As a general rule, the first 45 minutes of regular bicycle use are included for each subscriber’s trip, but a per-minute rate is added thereafter. This figure will increase from 11 to 17 cents per minute for a standard bike this year, and from 13 to 17 cents per minute for an electric bike.

As for occasional users, the release price for a one-way ticket will be adjusted from $1.25 to $1.35. The price per minute, which is included from the start without a subscription, will increase by 15 to 20 cents per minute for a standard bike and by 30 to 35 cents per minute for an electric bike. The idea of ​​an annual rate is still not on the cards for the moment.


reference: www.lapresse.ca

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