Dear Bixi, I love you.
I say this as I walk away from my now docked Bixi bike after my frantic rush to work this morning. I have to admit that I am an avid Bixi enthusiast and would suggest anyone ride one of these rent-able bikes anytime they need a quick trip in downtown Montreal. Today though, like many other weekday mornings in my life, I was running late for work. I bike to work and it only takes me 18 minutes IN (bike) TRAFFIC. How cool is that?
Late again, not sure if it was the last minute feeding of my tranny kitten George-ia or if it was the overly large amount of recycling I needed to put out before leaving my apartment. (priorities I say!)
Perhaps it was my stop at Montreal’s Quartier des Spectacles to view the latest art production (this steamy sidewalk thing.. makes you feel like you’re in a sauna). The things you can see while peddling to werk, a-mazing!
So why Bixi?
Bixi (Bike + Taxi) is Montreal’s form of a public bike system. This system allows city goers to rent bikes at a reasonable price to travel the majority of downtown. Basically, you can jump on a bike from one station, dock it at another and go about your day. This, to me, is far better than having to lock up your own bike and worry about it being stolen or otherwise damaged while left unattended.
So how does it work? Basically, all you need to do is:
For casual users:
Go to the pay station > put in your credit card > print or view your unlocking code > enter your unlocking code on the keypad of the bike you choose > wait for the green light then pull out (no pun intended) > ride away like a sissy > return the bike to any other empty dock and push it in until the light turns green again.
If you are really into biking everywhere like me, then you should really consider getting the bixi yearly membership. It is currently $78 dollars and will give you unlimited access to the bixi network. You can basically take a bike out each trip for up to 45 minutes and have it be completely free. Last year alone I used my bixi for 310 trips and almost all of those trips were free. With a membership, you will also gain access to your ‘Bixi Space’ located on the Bixi website which allows you to look for Bixi docks, see if there are bikes available and also the ability to monitor your trips and distance traveled. See mine below using last summer’s numbers.
If you discover one of the rare 7 speeds.. peddle til you can’t peddle no mo’. So much fun!
..If you are running late for dinner.. strap your wine into the front basket and peddle very carefully (haha).
Quickie Bixi 2011 facts:
- Official kick off: April 15th
- 5000+ Bixi bikes
- 400+ docking stations (expanded network)
- Price: $78 yearly pass,$ 28 monthly pass, $12 72-hour pass, $5 24-hour pass
After paying the basic yearly, monthly or daily fee, the customer is then charged for time usage as follows:
- free for the first 30 minutes (or 45 minutes if a subscribed to a monthly or yearly membership)**
- $1.50 for the second 30 minutes
- $3 for the third 30 minutes (which equals $4.50 for 60 to 90 minutes of use)
- $6 for the fourth and subsequent 30 minutes (which equals $10.50 for 90 to 120 minutes of use or more)
For a quickie tour of the village and how to use the Bixi system, check out this goodie from the Montreal Buzz:
[blackbutton link=”https://montreal.bixi.com”] Bixi Montreal’s Website [/blackbutton]