I think I can now safely brag that I live in the most transportation forward city in North America. I've already blogged about Montreal's near monopoly on high speed train building, and my awesome car co-op. Soon I'll write something about the newly announced plans to run airport shuttle buses and utility vehicles on hydrogen. But today I'll follow the New York Times lead, and introduce you to our innovative new bike sharing program.
At the NYT pointed out today, this is the most ambitious program on the continent. The plan for now is to make 3,000 bikes available at 300 wi-fi operated, solar powered stations spread out around the central area of the city.
Though the idea was spawned by a similar program in Paris, what makes Bixi, the Montreal version, different is that it's run by the city in co-ordination with the bus and metro system. Bikes can be removed from one station and returned to any of the others. Commit to a year's worth of bus/metro passes, and you get half off the $78 yearly subscription rate (you also get a discount to Communauto, Montreal's equally fab hi-tech car-co-op.)
Plus the bikes are kind of cool. Not built for lightness, but constructed to defeat vandals and parts thieves (made with the same aluminum we build our famous trains with.)
One more reason for me to put off buying a car.
For your viewing pleasure here's a little video about Bixi and biking in Montreal.