Local Bixi gets boost, not so for Bixi International

Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre is following through on his promise to keep Bixi going this year by setting up a non-profit group to oversee its local operations.

But its international operations are still in flux.

Coderre announced that they're not satisfied with any of the bids so far and is asking for revised bids: the city wants a minimum $4M for the bike-sharing service. The deadline for new offers is this Friday.

At the same time, Coderrre said they won't be investing one red cent in the international operations.

The city meantime is pouring a pre-budgeted $5M into the non-profit group Bixi-Montreal for its contract and daily operating expenses.

Coderre said he didn't want to leave 54,000 Bixi subscribers stranded.

"Are we going to tell them, 'Tough luck, forget about it, we don't care about you,' create another fuss. I'm a radical center. I'm trying to find a balance here," Coderre told reporters at a news conference.

"If I didn't do anything, we'd have lost over $50-million, we would have scrapped that season and it would have been,'That's it, that's all.' "

The head of cycling lobby group Vélo-Québec Suzanne Lareau is among those on the board of the new non-profit group.

The group is also supposed to come up with recommendations for Bixi's future.

Coderre urged Montrealers to "show their love for Bixi," while not making any promises about keeping the service going.

The season is expected to start April 15 at the same fares as last season.

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  1. Will posted on 03/24/2014 04:36 PM
    I say that the city should raise the subscription fee to recoup the $5 million going to overseeing this fiasco. It would work out to $30 a month per subscriber for six months of use with the increase added to the existing annual fee. Conversely, they could lower the amount of included time from 45 minutes to only 20 or 30. I find that BIXI cyclists are a menace on the road, because there are too many inexperienced users who also seem to feel that there are no rules or regulations on our roads. So, I wouldn't mind if a price increase weeded out some of the more casual customers who merely try it on a lark.
  2. Paul posted on 03/25/2014 07:35 AM
    Now we will loose more than $50 million.
    Unfortunately, Montreal embraces money losers.
  3. joeN posted on 03/25/2014 08:24 AM
    More taxpayer dollars wasted on a money losing operation. That's what this province excels in and would win gold medals everytime.
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