Bixi is Montreal’s homegrown rental bike system. Designed to serve tourists and residents with more than 5,000 bikes distributed through the city, the program is a real commitment to urban biking. Price and convenience contribute to their use and the system is well-managed to local habits—bikes are trucked around the city to ensure their even distribution after rush hour trips downtown.
But I think the real reason people bike in Montreal is the 502 kilometers of bike lanes and bike routes. Some are painted on the street, some run through parks, and some are separated by curbs, but all are well-respected and well-used.
Yes, even in the winter, though not without challenges. The commitment to bike infrastrucutre has created a bike culture that reaches not only across the city, but across the country.
And, Bixi is coming to Washington DC and Arlington,VA this fall.
What are the Bixi opportunities in Montgomery County? I can easily see bike stations located at Metro stations and at park/trail points like the Capital Crescent Trail, but once you get the bike, where do you go? Does anyone really want to bike up Wisconsin Avenue in its current cross-section?
It’s one thing to map the bike routes, another to ride them. As Casey Anderson pointed out in his Rethink presentation, potential riders are afraid of car traffic, but even those who would never consider riding a bike think it’s worthwhile to invest in bike and pedestrian infrastructure. Bixi in the DC region may be a first step.