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BIXI: Bike, Taxi, Montreal

Posted by Slavito in Montreal on 22/Sep/2008
The voting process for the name of Montreal's citywide bike rental program is over and the winner is chosen. The system is going to be called "BIXI".

Over the next month, demo bikes will be wheeled around the city public demonstrations will be held. According to the city's mayor, Gérald Tremblay, by next spring Montreal will count 2,400 bikes at more than 300 solar-powered stations.

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Bixi Illustration A seasonal pass (valid mid-April through mid-November) will cost $78, a monthly pass $28 and a 24-hour one $5. A pass lets you use the bike for up to 30 minutes per trip. You can take as many short trips as you like. Further usage is subject to surcharge: starting at $1.50 for the next 30-minute interval and going all the way up to $6 after 2 hours. A similar pricing scheme is in effect in Paris. The idea here is to encourage short trips and discourage bike hoarding.

What do they call them in ... ?

Similar programs exist in several European cities. This is what they are called there:
  • Paris: Vélib
  • Toulouse: Vélô
  • Lyon: Vélo'v
  • Barcelona: Bicing
  • Zaragoza: Bizi
I wrote about the vote last month and expressed my opinion on the naming scheme. At the time, I thought "Montvélo" was the only acceptable choice. Having talked to many people since, however, I changed my opinion a little. I guess I've accepted that BIXI is not such a bad name and perhaps a better one than "Montvélo" (because the "t" in the middle of the word is not pronounced in French, this could create some confusion - is it "my bike" (mon vélo) or "Montvélo"?). Also, the name "BIXI" puts us closer to the naming pattern common in Spain (see the inset) which I think is refreshing. Not everything is copied over from France.

The program will be first implemented in the boroughs of Ville Marie (Downtown Montreal, Old Montreal, etc) and Plateau Mont-Royal (Plateau Mont Royal, McGill Ghetto, Mile End), as well as parts of the borough Rosemont-Petite Patrie. Further expansion is going to happen in subsequent phases (see map below).

Bixi: Map

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