Saturday, July 31, 2010

BIXI bicycles coming to Winnipeg?

Good Day Readers:

We've been following the phenomenal growth of Montreal-based BIXI bicycles a concept promoting an environmentally friendly alternative to traditional modes of urban transportation and wondered is this service available yet in Winnipeg? To the best of our knowledge it's not - at least we haven't seen any BIXIS.

We're going to send a copy of this posting to Mayor Sam Katz suggesting while the city is investing millions and millions of dollars in a light rapid rail transit system (Or whatever it's called?) what about BIXI? Can the major centres that have already adopted the system all be wrong? We'll share any response received.

BIXI's home page (http://montreal.bixi.com/rolling-with-bixi/how-it-works) provides step-by-step instructions of how the system works.

Sincerely,
Clare L. Pieuk
Yesterday (July 30, 2010) Boris Johnson, the mayor of London, launched the latest addition to the BIXI franchise. The city is adding it to an impressive list of world metropolises including Montreal, Melbourne, Boston, Washington and Minneapolis that have adopted the BIXI public bike system as an active and environmentally friendly alternative to traditional modes of urban transport.

Bixi (or BIXI in some marketing pieces) is a public bicycle sharing system launched during May 2009 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

In Montreal, the system provided 3,000 bicycles and 300 stations located around Montreal's central core. By June 2009 it had expanded to 5,000 bicycles and 400 stations later that summer. Bixi marked its one-millionth ride October 26, 2009.

Bixi is proliferating into other municipalities in Canada and abroad. From June to September 2009, the system was introduced as a pilot study in Ottawa/Gatineau. August 12, 2009, the city of Montréal announced contracts to export Bixi to London and Boston. During February of this year Melbourne and Minneapolis also announced they were creating public bicycle sharing systems based on Bixi. A couple months ago Washington (District of Columbia) and Arlington (Virginia) on the American eastern seaboard, along with the Washington State University campus, on the country’s west coast, announced their decision to adopt the public bike system.

Starting this fall, 1,100 new BIXI bikes will be found at one of the 114 stations along the Arlington-Washington corridor. Another 30 will be made available for students at Washington State University.

Since the end of May this year residents of Melbourne, Australia's second-largest city have been able to travel around town on a BIXI bike. A total of 610 new units will soon be available at one of the 52 stations set up in the heart of the city. In addition to supplying the system, BIXI is also responsible for technical support, training and the providing of parts.

The first BIXI unveiled on U.S. soil took place last month in Minneapolis. Seven hundred new bicycles will be available at any of the 65 stations found throughout the city's downtown core. In addition to providing the system, BIXI will be in charge of everything related to technical support, training, supplies, parts as well, the customer service call center. BIXI works jointly with Nice Ride Minnesota, a non-profit organization created specifically for the implementation of a self-serve bicycle system project in Minneapolis. (Wikipedia)

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