MONTREAL -- While much of Montreal is on lockdown, BIXIs are still being rolled out this week and bike repair shops are reopening due to being designated as an essential service.

Bruno Mastantuono of MCW Cycle said he's receivied numerous calls from people looking to get their bikes into working shape.

“Basically for them to get out of the house in order for them to start doing something with themselves,” he said. “It's like people going for a walk.”

Mastantuono said he's taking precautions, such as only picking up and dropping off bikes by appointment.

“We're trying to put something in place right now just to see how we're going to be able to cope without having cutomers be able to come into the stores physically,” he said.

While Mayor Valerie Plante has warned Montrealers that cycling in crowds is forbidden, she said BIXIs will still return on April 15.

“It's for necessary movements. It's not to discover the city or to bike around, that's not what it's for,” she said. “I think it's a great option for some of the people that usually might be taking the subway or bus to work.”

Plante said the bicycles will receive more frequent cleaning to prevent COVID-19 from spreading.

Cycling group Velo Quebec applauded the return of the bicycles, though CEO Suzanne Lareau said users should pay attention to cleanliness using disinfectant wipes before taking one.

“When you takea bus and you grip the pole, it's the same thing,” she said. “When you go to the grocery store and you take a can of tomato soup, you never know if someone took it before. It's the same caution you have to do, you have to wash your hands.”

Lareau added that while some might doubt bike shops and BIXIs are essential, bicycles are the main mode of transporation for many Montrealers.

“There's a lot of people in Montreal that don't own a car, so what do you say to those people who are afraid to take public transit or the transit service is diminished?” she said. “They hav ea bike, that's a good way of transportation. That's why it's opened and it's good news for everybody.”