PBSC's 2023 retrospective

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PBSC is proud to be among the sponsors of this year’s NABSA 2023 conference, (North American Bikeshare & Scootershare Association), taking place in Toronto and Hamilton From September 19 to 22, 2023, focusing on Growing Shared Micromobility: Connecting People and Places. Ahead of the event, let’s take a closer look at our three Canadian bike-share systems!

Today’s stop: BIXI Montreal. 

Rolling along the Canadian urban landscape, the next destination in our NABSA-themed article series is none other than Montreal, the city that started it all! 

Did you know that BIXI is the very first bike share system we ever created? Back in 2009, we rolled out 3,000 ICONIC bikes and 300 stations in our hometown of Montreal, the unique cosmopolitan city in which PBSC continues to be based. 

As the oldest major bike share system in North America, and PBSC’s second-largest system in the world (after our London scheme), BIXI spans across 8 municipalities and features over 10,000 PBSC bikes, including 2,600 of our lively E-FIT e-bikes and 865 innovative Smart Stations. Reflecting upon those early years, we passionately believe in our vision of bike sharing as a path to active people, sustainable cities, and a healthy planet. With 65 million rides and counting, our pioneering Montreal micromobility solution launched a global revolution in urban transportation, as more and more smart cities embrace the collective power of bike sharing.

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BIXI bike share evolves over time

Now in its 15th season, our modernized BIXI bike share system remains an industry-leading reference in the international bike-sharing community. (Check out our City Series blog article for more on the system’s history.) BIXI also showcases our equipment’s quality and durability, since 98% of the system’s original bikes are still in operation… 15 years after the initial deployment!

Since 2014, the super-popular system has been managed by BIXI Montreal, a non-profit organization created by the city, whose mission, according to its website, is to be an “an active mode of transportation contributing to the health and well-being of Quebecers.” 

Safe to say, mission accomplished, with almost 9 million trips taken in 2022. According to WireNews, 2023 is off to a record-breaking start; just seven weeks into the season, BIXI recorded a 43% membership increase and 36% ridership increase, representing 70,000 daily trips.

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PBSC technology solutions help BIXI grow 

In 2019, Montreal became one of the first North American cities to adopt a large-scale e-bike network! After a successful 2019 pilot project that deployed 120 of our E-FITs, these vibrant blue pedal-assist electric bikes became permanent BIXI fixtures. The following year, BIXI partnered with PBSC to officially launch 1,000 E-FITs accompanied by new Smart Stations that charge the bikes directly at their docking points. 

In 2023, we continue to innovate with Scan & Go technology, allowing faster and easier bike rentals through secure QR codes using the mobile app on a smartphone.

More heartwarming news for winter lovers; this year, for the first time in BIXI history, the system will be available all year long, with close to 1,500 bikes and 150 stations ready for action during wintertime. 

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Cycle culture meets city culture

From business to pleasure, BIXI has become ingrained into this city’s diverse and dynamic culture. Venture down Montreal streets during rush hour, and you’ll surely catch a glimpse of commuters zooming down the city’s dynamic network of dedicated bike lanes on our peppy aluminum bikes. In nice weather, locals love hopping on a BIXI to head to an outdoor festival or concert, docking them near bus or metro stops conveniently integrated into the city’s public transit infrastructure.Strategically placing bike-share stations near public transit hubs can reduce daily traffic and carbon emissions while helping citizens live healthy, active lives.

People are proud of their BIXI experiences: In 2022, BIXI deployed 50 art bikes at Montreal's annual Mural festival, starting a social media frenzy. And in 2023, the system launched 60 glow-in-the-dark bikes, which light up at night, to similar effect.

Also hot off the presses for 2023 is a partnership between BIXI and Loto Québec, and expansions into the neighbouring municipalities of Terrebonne and Boucherville, with Longueuil coming in 2024 thanks to the addition of 200 bikes, including 70 E-FITs, and 20 stations. This suburban expansion demonstrates the impact of offering city-dwellers sustainable micromobility options for their commutes, particularly as first- and last-mile options. 

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Over the years citizens massively embraced BIXI in such a way that is now part of the city's DNA while boosting the cycling culture. BIXI’s future looks just as bright, as our customized urban solution continues to grow with the needs of this French-speaking metropolis, appealing to locals, tourists, and everyone in between! 

Next stop: The first Canadian city with a large-scale, fully electric system, Quebec City.

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