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BIXI, coming soon all year long!
November 16 will no longer be a sad day on the BIXI calendar!
For the first time, it will be possible to rent a bike outside the usual season. The pilot project will cover an area of around 100 square kilometers, encompassing 7 Montreal boroughs: Ahuntsic-Cartierville, Mercier – Hochelaga-Maisonneuve, Plateau-Mont-Royal, Rosemont – La Petite-Patrie, Sud-Ouest, Ville-Marie and Villeray – Saint-Michel – Parc-Extension.
This is an important step in the transformation of Montreal’s urban landscape, and in the history of active mobility in Quebec. We’re delighted to be taking it with you!
Bikes adapted for year-round use
The fleet available for year-round bike rental will consist of 1,500 regular BIXIs with studded tires and non-slip pedals. In fact, these BIXIs will be the only self-service bikes in North America to be modified for winter!
As the autonomy and durability of their batteries would be affected by cold and salt, electric BIXIs will be back in spring.
For the launch of this pilot project, the year-round network will be made up of 150 stations concentrated in a specific area, which has been strategically determined on the basis of its proximity to the St-Denis/Lajeunesse REV and Orange and Green Line metro stations. This allows you to ride easily on snow-cleared bicycle paths, or use BIXI as an extra ingredient in your winter transportation cocktail.
The vast majority of stations are “off-street”. They will be cleared by our on-street teams, in coordination with borough snow removal operations.
Stations outside this pilot zone will no longer be available after 11:59pm on November 15. However, to the delight of BIXISTS, some stations on the outskirts of the pilot zone may remain available longer than usual, until they are withdrawn.
As the location and number of stations in the network are subject to change without notice, we invite you to refer to the station map in the BIXI application to plan your trips.
How much does it cost to rent a bike year-round?
The 2023 rates are in effect until December 31, 23:59.
As the BIXI membership is offered on a ongoing basis, monthly memberships already held will continue, while seasonal memberships will as usual reach the end of their validity period on November 15 at 11:59 pm. The next period will begin on April 15, 2024.
You can buy or cancel a membership at any time via your BIXI Space.
Your safety is very important. Road and bike path conditions may be different from what you’re used to, and may vary from one day to the next.
That’s why, even though helmets are not mandatory on regular BIXI bikes, we suggest that you wear one when you travel outside the summer season.
We count on you to respect the Highway Safety Code at all times.
Weather conditions and year-round bike rental
Service will be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. In the event of exceptional measures, such as severe weather conditions or conditions compromising the safety of our employees and equipment, service may be suspended.
Should this happen, announcements will be made on Facebook, Instagram, X (Twitter) and our homepage. All stations will turn grey on the map displayed in the BIXI app. Bike rentals will be closed until conditions improve. A notice will be published on the same platforms when the service is available again.
BIXI year-round is a pilot project we’ve been working on for a very long time, but it’s a first experience for both you and us! Chances are you’ll have questions. Here are a few answers.
The pilot territory for the first year will cover approximately 100 km2 and include 150 stations available to users. To ensure safe use, the network is deployed close to travel hubs and snow-cleared bike paths (orange and green line metro stations, REV Saint-Denis-Lajeunesse, Bellechasse and Peel, for example).
Yes! Some stations in the pilot zone are not part of the year-round BIXI project and will remain accessible until they are completely dismantled in December. There will therefore be a “buffer” period, with more than 150 stations available between November 16 and mid-December, to the delight of users.
Users’ safety is our top priority. The mechanical BIXIs (regular bikes) in the current fleet will be modified with studded tires and non-slip pedals. Electric bikes will return in the spring.
As this is a pilot project, the first 150 targeted stations are located close to travel hubs such as metro stations, snow-cleared bike paths and they are the busiest stations during the regular season. These stations will help users to complete their mobility mix. Some stations will follow the REV from north to south.
The map of stations will be available on the app as of November 16 and on our website in this very page. We encourage users to plan their trips using the app, as some inactive stations will remain on the public domain throughout the year.
We invite users to check the app before each trip. It’s the best planning tool. Non-operational stations remaining in the pilot zone will be indicated in gray in the application, and a sign will be displayed on the station to distinguish it from operational stations.
A satisfaction survey is send to all users at the end of each season. To the question : “would you be interested in using BIXI all year round?” almost 40% of users answered “yes”. Our customer service receives many such requests as well. The City of Montreal has never been so pleasant for cyclists, and it grows in popularity between December and March, as assessed by Vélo Québec and the City.
In all, the snow-cleared bike paths network represents 400 km. That’s half of the 4-season cycling network. By keeping BIXI on offer all year round, we’re enabling residents to maintain their good active transportation habits all year round. Year-round BIXI will increase customer retention and loyalty, and reduce operating costs thanks to a more permanent form of installation.
The stations will be cleared of snow by BIXI. A 130 cm perimeter will be always cleared of snow around the stations. Some stations will be cleared on a priority basis, depending on traffic. We will also be clearing snow from stations located on private property.
Our snow-clearing plan is based on the best practices of various North American bike-sharing services and their tools. All issues (snow accumulation, ice, glaze) have been studied, raised and will be taken into consideration to ensure cohesion with the city’s snow removal teams.
Most stations in the pilot project are located off-street. These stations will therefore have no impact on parking availability for residents. To facilitate the work of the City of Montreal snow clearing crews and the daily lives of citizens, the BIXI Montréal planning team has paid particular attention to locations in this sense (less than 5% of the 150 stations will be on the public domain at this stage).
The 2023 fares are in effect until December 31, 11:59 p.m., and the new 2024 fares will be posted on January 1 on our website: bixi.com.
Between November 16 and April 14, 2024, users can choose between a one-way trip and a monthly subscription to BIXI.
Seasonal memberships remain valid from April 15 to November 15. Seasonal subscribers can take out a monthly membership to continue riding BIXI continuously from November 16 to April 14.
No. The seasonal membership validity period ends on November 15 at 11:59 p.m. To use BIXI year-round, we encourage you to purchase a monthly membership now. It will follow your current membership. We remind you that BIXI memberships are offered on an ongoing basis.
At all times, respect bicycle safety rules. BIXI Montréal strongly encourages users to wear helmets and bright colors, so as to be as visible as possible. Helmets are not mandatory in Quebec on standard bicycles, and although the provincial government enforces the law, helmets are recommended by the SAAQ.
The selected stations are mainly located near snow-cleared bicycle paths, which will make it easier for users to get around.
We also invite users to visit Vélo Québec’s L’hiver à vélo page, which provides many tips and tricks on good 4-season cycling behavior.
When BIXI was designed in 2008-2009, it was intended to be used all year round, so it was ready to withstand all forms of weather (snow, ice, earthquake, fire, wind, etc.).
The bikes used for the test period are not the most recent in the fleet. Also, the few parts of the bike that are more sensitive to winter weather are already part of the parts changed more frequently at BIXI during the three other usual seasons.
There will be no extra protection on BIXI bikes for winter, but they are made of aluminum, with quality parts and are very robust. One BIXI bike even spent the winter in the Lachine Canal and was fished out the following spring. After being tuned up, cleaned, and tested, it was back in the fleet a few weeks later.
BIXI year-round is a pilot project, and we want to evaluate all the equipment and make any necessary adjustments.
Of course, it does! Average temperatures in Montreal from December to February range from -6 to -15. In all, over the past three years, we’ve received an average of 200 cm of snow throughout the month of December, which equates to about 6.5 cm of snow per day. We also took the time to contact Chicago, Boston and Washington, as they have more or less the same reality as Montreal.