We used to watch jealously from the sidelines as people zipped around us on the streets of Paris on their BIXI rented bikes. Then BIXI came to Montreal, and we wondered when we’d see the bike-sharing program on our hometown streets.
A year later, the BIXI bike-sharing program has finally arrived in Toronto, offering access to an active and green alternative form of transportation. We have a love affair with BIXI. Why? Because it’s cheap, fast, easy, and cool. You can stylishly borrow a bike in 3 easy steps:
1. Pick a bike from the nearest BIXI station, insert your key, and take the bike.
2. Ride away! The first 30 minutes of any trip is free.
3. Return the bike to any network station when you’re done.
The global phenomenon, which is now established in Minneapolis, Washington, London, and Melbourne, is thrilling because it means more people are getting on bikes and getting off of oil. Montreal has always been a leader in urban street style, but they’ve set the bar high on this one; by the end of the summer of 2009, the city had already installed 5,000 bicycles and 400 stations.
Check out how many stations the city has now; this unbelievable map shows how easy it is to use the system – with this many stations, you’ll be able to pick up and drop off a bike just about anywhere. Ride to work, ride to school, ride home – it looks to us as if BIXI is more efficient (and a whole lot cheaper) even than public transit. Plus, if you live in Montreal, it’s easier than ever to bike to work with BIXI corporate incentives.
BIXI was unveiled in Toronto at the end of July 2010, with one major catch: in order for BIXI to become a sustainable feature of Toronto’s landscape, 1,000 new members need to sign on by November of 2010. Have you signed up yet? It costs $95 plus tax for an entire year of a BIXI membership (that’s less than a month on Toronto’s transit)!
Sign up today to get the system officially rolling in our streets, so that we can elevate our coolness factor to Montreal’s, and have biking as a permanent part of our city! We’re counting down until this kind of idea hits the rest of Canada. Here’s hoping that one day, our traffic jams will look like this:
Remember – in the battle to save the planet, exercising your pedal power is key. Enter our contest to nominate a bike riding hero, highlighting the challenges they face and how they overcome them. Let us know about your ride to work, how you envision a better biking future, or your efforts as a bicycle innovator, using bike-powered solutions to change the planet. Contest details, prizing, and more information can be found here.
GreenHeroes.tv is all about saving the planet, one story at a time. Do you have a great story to tell about how you’re helping to make the world a greener place? Enter the contest to nominate a friend or yourself – you could be one of Canada’s next GreenHeroes!