Montrealers wanting to get from point A to B on two wheels now have another option at their disposal.
BIXI Montreal announced Monday it is adding 100 electric bikes to its lineup.
The move comes after a successful pilot project launched in 2018 that saw 20 electric power-assisted bicycles hit the streets of Montreal.
The not-for-profit organization says the response to the pilot project “confirmed the changing needs of (our) costumers and the strong local demand for electric bikes.”
“I’m sure people will be fighting to have one of those bikes,” said Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante, adding the launch fits in with the city’s goal of giving citizens more options for getting around.
“Part of our goal is to always have more mobility options for Montrealers, whether it’s with the orange (Metro) line — we’ve added a new express line this morning — having electric bikes or working with different operators,” she said, referring to Lime e-scooters and Jump bikes.
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Executive committee member Éric Alain Caldwell echoed the sentiment but added he hopes the electric bikes will also attract new users — people who never considered riding a bike before.
The new e-bikes — entirely made in Quebec — are bright blue in colour, making them easy to differentiate from the regular BIXI’s.
Users can rent an electric BIXI via the app, a BIXI key or prepaid Opus card.
The e-bikes will be available at docking stations around the city, but the new rides will cost users an extra dollar per trip.
As more bike-sharing services emerge in the city, Plante is reminding users to ride responsibly.
“Wear a helmet, don’t go on the sidewalk, you need to be in the street like any other bike,” she said.
The use of helmets is mandatory for e-bikes and e-scooters.
Riders who fail to comply could receive a fine and ultimately be banned from using the service.
On its website, Quebec’s automobile insurance board states that fines for not wearing a helmet on the e-bike range from $60 and $100. The board also outlines various criteria to ensure the helmet is compliant with safety standards including having a rigid shell and padded interior.
— With files from Global’s Shakti Langlois-Ortega