Be Happy, Feel Beautiful
Welcome to the year 2011: a place where public transportation offers a new edge through clever Bixi bikes. For those environmentally-conscious, fitness-savvy, and urban individuals, Bixis are the latest and greatest. This new way of travelling is time efficient: snag a bike at one Bixi station close to home and drop it off at another dock near school for just a small rental fee.
Originally the idea of using government-supported bikes as taxis began in Lyon, France 2005, though the concept existed under private corporations prior to that. Under the name of Vélo’v, the network soon expanded to include Paris and Barcelona in 2007. Famous for its European tint and uniquely French-Canadian charm, Montreal established its own Public Bike System Company, Bixi—a witty combination between the words bicycle and taxi. With innovative qualities, such as solar power and removable Bixi docks during harsh Canadian winters, Montreal is leading the race among cities attempting to re-create Lyon’s original idea.
Montreal launched the Bixis in 2009, starting with 3,000 bicycles available at 300 Bixi stations across three urban sectors. Currently the city offers more than 5,000 and 400 self-serving Bixi docks for public transportation. After only two years of operation, Bixi bikes are widely used around the city and are a common site among the streets of Montreal.
The Bixi phenomenon is perfect for daily routines, and is an easy alternative to hauling one’s own bike from the storage room, apartment, or balcony and then down to the street. In order to access and use the Bixi systems, subscriptions are the best method to take. For a cheap rate of $5 a day in Montreal, or $78 per year, one can use the Bixis to their heart’s content.
This year in the United States, the Bixi concept has popped up under the name of Hubway in Boston with 600 bikes and 61 docking stations. Operated by Alta Bicycle Share and sponsored by New Balance, the project was launched on July 28. Currently the Bixi concept holds different names in a handful of areas such as Australia, the United Kingdom, United States, and Canada. For those Belles living in metropolitan areas with access to Bixi-type systems, here are some reasons to consider buying a subscription:
Maintenance: Forget shining up and fixing your own bike. With bike sharing systems, you
ride a good-as-new bicycle each time you set out on your daily errands!
Storage: No more cramming big bikes into small spaces. See the city and get to your destination fast without the hassle of dislodging your bike from its parking spot.
Go Green: Reduce air pollution with this environmentally-friendly system and get a great workout
while you’re at it.