City of Montreal: Let them ride bikes!
While we knew it was coming, we didn’t know when. But it’s official: Montreal plans to kick off a new self-serve bicycle program this fall. Come September, the city will set up four stands with about 40 bicycles as a pilot project in the boroughs of Ville Marie, Plateau Mont Royal and Rosemont/Petite Patrie. Once the kinks are worked out, next Spring will see 2,400 bikes at 300 stations around Montreal.
The program will feature mobile stands, both so the city can move them around, and also so they can be removed for snow removal in the winter. The bikes themselves will be made of light-weight aluminum to avoid rust and will feature easily adjustable seats, 3 gears and a bag rack on the front.
No word yet on the exact cost, but city officials say it will be less than the price of a bus ticket, so under $2.75. The fee scale will most likely be based on models currently used in Europe, with the first 30 minutes being very cheap, and steep rises afterwards as a way to limit people going on long joy rides. Payment will be made either through a a charge card or by credit card.
To try and hype up the project and get the community involved, Montrealers are also being asked to propose a name for the new bike network. You can make your submissions through http://www.trouvemonnom.ca/. Contestants are asked to suggest a name, and then go back later to vote for their favorite proposal. Some nifty prizes to win, too, including a free lifetime membership with the yet-to-be named bike system
- Le vélo en libre-service dès septembre à Montréal (Via Rouler a velo)
- Trouve mon nom (Via Spacing Montreal)
PS – No one seems to be quite sure if the picture above is what the bikes will actually look like. Part of the surprise, I guess…