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Elsewhere: Montreal is Embracing Public Bike Sharing

Things are happening in Montreal… their upcoming “Public Bike System” (or PBS) has a fancy new website, a name contest, and plans to start with 40 public bikes this fall and expanding to 2,400 in a year:

The first city-issue self-serve bikes are to appear at specially designed outdoor stations in fall 2008. By autumn 2009, it’s expected 2,400 bikes will be available for as little as $1 per half-hour, at 300 stations around central neighbourhoods.

The idea is to encourage Montrealers and tourists to use the public bicycles instead of cars for short, inner-city trips. Users will be able to pick up a bike at one station, use it, then drop it off at any station of their choice.

Oh, and the bikes look awesome… which makes sense since the aesthetics of the system were designed by Michel Dallaire.

You may be asking yourself “How are they paying for this?” and the answer is easy:

The city has chosen Stationnement Montréal, a subsidiary of the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal, to run the bike rental system, partly because the company’s automated parking meters are similar to those needed for the self-serve bike scheme.

The company, which manages the city’s paid on-street and public parking lots, is to invest

$15 million to get the project going, although it is expected to eventually be self-financing.

That’s right… Montreal’s equivalent to the Toronto Parking Authority is running this.

Is there any reason this can’t be done in Toronto?

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