The UK and New England will soon be reaping the benefits of BIXI, the City of Montréal’s bicycle sharing service. Two contracts covering the manufacture of more than 8,000 bikes have been signed to implement the system next year in London and Boston.
On August 12, the Mayor of London announced that Transport for London had signed a new contract with Serco Group PLC, an international services company, in association with BIXI, for the design, implementation and operation of the London Cycle Hire Scheme (LCHS). The LCHS, which will feature a specially adapted version of BIXI, will have 6,000 bikes, 400 stations and 10,000 docking points.
In New England, the Metropolitan Area Planning Council has commissioned BIXI to implement and operate a system in downtown Boston. There are also plans to extend the service to neighbouring municipalities. The city centre will be served by a network of 2,500 bikes, 290 stations and 3,750 docking points, with room for expansion up to 5,000 bikes or more.
Both projects will draw on the expertise of designer Michel Dallaire and his associates, as well as that of 8D Technologies. Cycle Devinci, based in Québec’s Saguenay region, will be responsible for manufacturing the bikes. Implementing the BIXI system in London and Boston will also help create jobs across Québec; nearly 40 positions will be based in Montréal following the decision to locate Boston’s call centre there.
Other major cities, including New York, have expressed interest in Montréal’s bike system, which began operating last spring. BIXI has already won a number of honours, including an International Design Excellence Award in July 2009 and a Gold Edison Award. BIXI came in 19th on Time magazine’s 2008 list of the 50 best inventions.