Quebec City may step in over Bixi money woes
A day after the city's auditor general raised some serious questions about the Bixi bike share program's long-term viability, the provincial government said it is considering stepping in.
The PQ's Minister for Montreal Jean-Francois Lisée said the government is considering a $5-million bridge loan - that's the same amount that Réal Ménard, the councillor in charge of Montreal's transportation, said was owed to Bixi by New York City and Chicago for setting up their bike shares.
Lisée called the system an international success but said it needed a sound business plan to keep it viable.
"The project as a whole is sound, but we have to come up with ways to make it a durable success and doesn't go from financial hiccup to financial hiccup," he said.
At a city council meeting Tuesday morning, Ménard stated categorically that Bixi would not go bankrupt.
The system is currently some $42-million in debt and operating at a $6.5-million deficit.