Bixi plans to roll out electric bikes
With Bixi’s popularity continuing to roll along, it has plans to introduce electric bikes.
Last year, it launched a pilot project that added 20 electric bikes to its fleet between August and November.
Pierre Parent, Bixi’s Marketing Director, said the plan was a success and that Bixi will add more electric bicycles.
"We need to organize the system to match the electric bikes, but it's a matter of months I’d say, not years," said Parent.
The plan comes just as a new player hit the market and put an end to the bike-sharing monopoly that Bixi held in Montreal for more than a decade.
About a month ago, the popular ride-hailing service Uber rolled out its fleet of electric bikes called Jump, the first of its kind in Canada.
The bikes cost 30 cents a minute a, can go as fast as 32 kilometres per hour and unlike non-electric bikes, wearing a helmet is mandatory,
When the e-bikes were officially launched on June 26th, Uber promoted Jump as another way to decrease congestion on city streets.
Bixi says it’s too early to tell if Jump has had an impact on its ridership, but is confident Bixi’s experience, price point ($2.95 for 30 mins or less), and city-owned model will continue to be worthwhile for Montrealers.
"The popularity in general of bikes is a good thing, people seem to understand that it's good for your health, it's fun to be outside, in the sun, have the wind in your hair. So generally people are realizing bikes are a good alternative transportation, a good alternative to cars," said Parent.
This is Bixi’s 11th and most successful year so far, with rides per day increasing from around 31,000 per day last year, to more than 36,000 per day so far this year.