Biking made easy in Montreal

One of more than 300 self-service Bixi bike rental stations in Montreal.

From April to November 30, the city will rent you a sturdy, well maintained, three-speed bike for $5 a day (or $28 for 30 days; $79 for a full year). A swipe of your credit card produces a five digit code to unlock one of the 5,000 available bikes; Return your bike within 30 minutes to one of the ubiquitous rental stands and there is no charge. It is a fast, easy, practical way to get around this bustling city, and the Bixi bikes are everywhere.

The city-owed system recently expanded to Washington, DC, and Arlington, VA. Could Halifax or Sydney get in on the action? We have a few drawbacks compared to Montreal:

  • Smaller population
  • Less density
  • More hills
  • Shorter biking season
  • Helmet laws
  • Vastly fewer bike lanes.
  • Montreal has 502 km. of bike lanes and paths, and recently announced plans to spend $10 million installing another 50 km.

    Food for thought.