BIXI Bicycle Sharing

The BIXI Bicycle Sharing system was created to augment the City of Montreal’s existing transit system by making cycling an attractive and practical transportation option. As the system was being developed, Montreal’s parking authority created the Public Bike System Company (PBSC) to manage, operate, and further develop BIXI. Before its launch in 2009, PBSC held a contest to name the system, made presentations to local businesses, and surveyed residents in order to obtain public support for the system while also identifying the target audience and determining where the first bike stations should be located. PBSC worked with an industrial designer to create the bikes and docking stations which were solar-powered, modular platforms that could be installed, expanded, configured, and removed in about 30 minutes. BIXI’s wireless communications network allowed PBSC to track real-time data on the number of bikes at a station, the functional status of each bike, and the traffic and usage patterns of both stations and bikes, while a GIS database allowed BIXI to see who their members were and better understand their lifestyles. Surveys conducted at the end of each year evaluated member satisfaction levels and documented their ideas on how to improve the service. By 2013, BIXI Montreal had 5,120 bikes and 411 stations with users having taken more than 13 million cycling trips.

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