Bixi membership drive underway

Bixi is going full throttle with its promotional campaign to try to woo back old members and entice new ones to join the bike-sharing program.

Three per cent fewer people signed up in the first six weeks of the Bixi season than at the same time last year. Spokesperson Bérengère Thériault told CJAD 800 News more detailed numbers are expected next month.

The new city-controlled company overseeing Bixi has led to a new push for members: an email and telephone campaign aimed at old subscribers, a half price promotion starting next month for new users.Thériault said phone campaigns have been used in the past for example targetting those who first signed up with them. She said these newer promotions were prompted by the creation of the new board of directors this past spring.

Bixi has been hit with money and software problems, resulting in the new company.

Concordia marketing professor Robert Soroka said that could have made Bixi-users a little skittish.

"Bad publicity definitely has a lot to do with this," Soroka said.

"A lot of people were concerned Bixi might not last the season. People don't usually like to subscribe to organizations or to businesses that have a negative perception in the marketplace no matter how good the service is."

Soroka said Bixi has to start rebuilding its brand and regain people's trust.

"The first thing that must be addressed is why is it that customers were not renewing their memberships," Soroka said.

"(It's) really understanding the customer a little bit better. By thinking that a drop in price is all that's going to take to get people to register, I think that's somewhat misguided."

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  1. Paul posted on 07/29/2014 01:46 PM
    A last ditch effort to save their bonuses perhaps?
  2. Karl posted on 07/29/2014 02:06 PM
    Oh for heavens sake just get rid of this service already... It's already been killed off everywhere else.
  3. Keven posted on 07/29/2014 02:37 PM
    "Three per cent fewer people signed up in the first six weeks of the Bixi season"
    That's actually really good considering the weather during these first 6 week : it was so cold! I had my membership but was never using the service because it was simply too cold to ride a bike until the end of June! Why would someone have subscribed then? "Hey, it's freezing cold, let's get a Bixi subscription right now so I can not use it..."

    And then, I would understand someone not wanting to get a one year service when the mayor has indirectly said he would cut the service next year blaming this year's results for membership. Saying that the love of the users for this non profitable service will seal the fate of Bixi is a politician way of saying he has every intention of cutting the service but will be using whatever users figures to justify that it's not his fault, it's the users who demonstrated that they didn't want the service. So sad.
  4. Brad posted on 07/29/2014 06:33 PM
    Another money loosing service for the city. Enough of taxpayers subsidizing this business. All I see downtown are 4-5 parking spots in several downtown locations being taken by these Bixis that are sitting idle waiting for someone to use it. There's enough problems parking downtown, we don't need these money losing Bixis taking up prime parking spots. I hope next year that the Bixi service is not renewed, it's time to move on.
    1. Keven posted on 07/30/2014 01:16 PM
      @Brad My taxes pay for millions in repairing roads that cars and trucks are using and damaging.

      Building infrastructure for motorized vehicles is not a profitable organization, why should it be any different for cyclists who actually contributes to reducing traffic jams, air pollution while improving their own health to avoid jamming the health system later? The loss for Bixi is a drop in the general picture of transportation costs. It's everyone's taxes, and the car owners are getting more than their share of investment from the transportation budget.

      Bixi is part of the solution for a modern transportation system in Montreal, I personally think it would be regressive to remove the service, it's part of the solution to problems that cars are causing.
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