Last February, Bixi announced that it had been chosen for the public bike project in Minneapolis and Melbourne. Bixi will now be on 3 continents!
Short comparison of the current Bixi systems:
Ratio of bikes / docks
|Montreal (phase I + II)||5000||400||7800||assume 65%|
|Washington DC (fall 2010)||1100||114||1700||assume 65%|
|Univ of Washington(fall 2010)||30||3||45||assume 65%|
If we use the average ratio of 65% there are 7800 bike docks in Montréal. (Italics are calculated numbers – not provided in press releases)
According to this document (7MB download), New York city is talking about a project with 10000 bikes in the first phase (Manhattan below 60th street & parts of Brooklyn). If this first phase is successful, it could be expanded to 49000 bikes in all boroughs except Staten Island.
The report seems to favour the Bixi technology for several reasons:
- Since excavation of streets to install the bike station is not needed, the capital costs are lower.
- No need for hydro hook up since the stations are solar powered (the smart bike stations in Washington DC have a electricity meter on a pole next to each bike station)
- Flexibility to move stations around to allow for special events
- Stations are expandable to add or remove bike docks as needed
Although a lot of attention is paid to the visible aspects of the system, equally important to the success of the system is the back end information systems to make sure:
- Customers don’t get overcharged
- Bikes don’t get lost or stolen
- Sufficient bikes are available where and when people want them
- Sufficient bikes docks are available where and when people want them
- Technical support via multiple technologies (email / phone)
- Dallaire Design (for the design of the bikes & overall system)
- Cycles Devinci (for the manufacture of the bikes)
- 8D Technologies (for the payment station and the back-end software)
- Robotics Design (for the docking station)
The choice of using the existing Stationnement de Montréal infrastructure (which is provided by 8D technologies) has allowed Montréal to really demonstrate its savoir-faire (and to win an award!)
If only Bixi could expand to NDG! Then I might sign up for it. Will it be cheaper in 2010? The answer is unfortunately No. But you can get a 10$ discount on the yearly subscription if you sign up before May 15th.
UPDATE: April 14/2010: Bixi is recommended by the City of Toronto staff.
UPDATE: May 15, 2010: Bixi approved by the city of Toronto’s council for a 2011 launch.
UPDATE: May 21, 2010: Bixi going to two Washingtons