Photo cred - @gnf_mtl
Yesterday, Bixi, the city's public bike-sharing service, released its 5-year plan of attack to increase service and keep running 'til 2019. The conclusion can be summed up as this: if Montreal wants to keep Bixi around, the city will need to pay up millions every year.
Bixi's contract with the city of Montreal will end at the close of 2014, and for the bikes to stay on city streets into 2019, Montreal will need to fund around $3 million each year, according to Global. Funded by the city basically means taxpayer money, so even if you don't like or ride Bixi bikes, you may have to pay for the service anyway.
The 2014-2019 proposal by Bixi also outlined its plan to target new demograpihcs of users, specifically students, tourists, and employees of major corporations. With this strategy, Bixi aims to increase its ridership to 4.4 million people by 2019, a modest jump from the current 3.2 million people who used Bixi this year.
No comment has come from mayor Denis Coderre on whether the city will actually be down to fund Bixi. Montreal's mayor has said he will make a decision sometime this week, after taking Montreal's response via social media into consideration.
$3 million a year isn't a small number to keep Bixi around, especially considering the fact that the bike-sharing service should be able to operate without any municipal funding. If you think Bixi is worth the cheddar, head over to city hall today for the "Bixi-Love In" and show your support.
Are you looking for more? Click here for 5 Reasons Why Bixi Should Stay In Montreal >
For more on all things Montreal, follow Michael on Twitter @MDAlimonte