BIXI says it has facilitated a total of 14,000 e-bike rides in Montreal since the service’s e-bike launch on Aug. 26.
The company’s newest offering saw 120 e-bikes added to the Montreal area.
“I think they’re pretty awesome,” said BIXI user Andre Venter. “They really help me go a lot further than I would normally.”
Vélo-Quebec programs manager Magali Bebronne was also pleased with BIXI’s service.
“I was pleasantly surprised at how comfortable it was and how pleasant it was,” Bebronne said.
Uber’s red JUMP e-bikes have been in Montreal since June, and Lime electric scooters are also now in the fold.
However, for a 30-minute trip, BIXI’s e-bikes have an advantage against their American competitors.
“The BIXIs are a lot cheaper,” said Venter.
A 30-minute BIXI ride costs $3.95. At 30 cents per minute, a half-hour on a JUMP e-bike costs $9. Lime’s scooter services cost $1 to unlock and then 30 cents per minute, bringing the total cost of a 30-minute scooter ride to $10.
“For a very short trip, you’d still be paying less for JUMP, but for longer distances, BIXI would still be the best option,” said Bebronne. “What you see in other cities is that if there’s a public system that works well, people are going to favour that rather than use the JUMP bikes.”
However, with 7,200 regular BIXI bikes and just 120 e-bikes available, the new electric bicycles can be difficult to find.
“There’s not enough! They should put more. At least five by dock would be better,” said BIXI user Rigo Avelar.
“I’d like to see the electric bikes get more common,” Venter added.
Vélo-Quebec thinks people prefer the locally made BIXIs to American JUMP bikes.
“If we have more electric BIXIs, we think people are going to be using more of those as opposed to the dockless bike shares, which come with their own problems in terms of parking. A lot of people are furious about the whole parking management issue,” said Bebronne.
BIXI said it is not yet ready to discuss putting more e-bikes on Montreal’s streets.