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.
In a Facebook post, Ensemble Montreal promised several solutions so that Montreal can be "a model city for cleanliness."
"In too many neighbourhoods, Montrealers see littered pavements and parks, overflowing bins and graffiti on street furniture," the party wrote.
Coderre promised that his administration would put more closed garbage cans in parks, implement "the collection of bulky items on request," and clean "hateful graffiti" within 24 hours after it's reported and manage the rat population.
"It is urgent that the City assume its responsibilities as a government of the community and do so in all boroughs," Ensemble Montreal stated.
You might have noticed that the height of buildings in Montreal is shorter than those in other North American cities. That's by design. And now, Mayor Valérie Plante's party, Projet Montréal, is committing to keep it that way.
"Since 1992, a consensus has existed in Montreal regarding the maximum height of buildings," the party wrote on Facebook. "According to this agreement, Montreal's constructions must not obscure the views of Mount Royal — and therefore must not peak higher than the mountain's highest level, which is more than 232 metres above sea level."
The party criticized former mayor Denis Coderre's claim that taller buildings could help to increase the housing offer in the city.
"Mr. Coderre seems to believe that Montreal's highest peaks should belong to the owners of downtown penthouses [...] Let's be honest. Who will really benefit from taller skyscrapers? A handful of wealthy people and a few real estate developers... And so would begin the privatization of the views of our Mount Royal," Projet Montréal warned.
As summer winds down, so does the BIXI Montréal season. If you've been relying on the bike-sharing system to get around over the past five months, you may be wondering when you'll have to start using other modes of transit. Remember waiting for busses? Ugh.
The answer is November 15, which is when the BIXI season ends. Bixi says the bikes are taken off the network that day, and moved into storage in a warehouse in Rosemont-La Petite Patrie so they can "spend the winter warm inside."
That means you still have nearly two months to make the most of your monthly membership, seasonal membership or one-way rides. If you haven't used BIXI much this year, you still have time.
It costs 50 cents to unlock a bike for a one-way pass. The ride costs 10 cents a minute on regular bikes or 25 cents a minute on electric bikes.
These rates are reduced by 10% if you use your OPUS card.
Hey Montreal, I hope you remember that after the federal election is over on September 20, you'll be in the throes of yet another election, this time for the mayor of Montreal, city and borough councils.
By now, we should all know the candidates, the parties, and what they claim to stand for but some of us might have no idea how to vote, when to vote, or how this whole mayoral election thing even works.
Project Montréal forms the current administration, lead by Valérie Plante. Plante has been the leader of the party since 2016 and was elected mayor in 2017. Plante is the first woman to be Montreal's mayor.
Plante dethroned former mayor Denis Coderre and his party Ensemble Montréal at the last election, prompting him to exit politics.
But Coderre is back and wants to regain the office of mayor. Ensemble Montréal has served as the official opposition in City Hall since the 2017 election.
Mouvement Montréal, meanwhile, is a new party with a charismatic leader in former CFL player Balarama Holness who promises to change Montreal and bring it into the future. Holness and his party have introduced bold policy moves, which include making Montreal a city-state within Quebec and making public transit free for everyone under 25.
The parties officially kicked off their campaigns on September 17, with promises and election signs aplenty.
There are 103 elective positions in 58 electoral districts in all 19 boroughs of Montreal. The breakdown is as follows, according to Elections Montréal:
mayor of Montreal
18 borough mayors who are also city councillors;
46 city councillors;
and 38 borough councillors.
There will be four full days of elections with two advance polling days and two official election days.
How to vote
There will be four full days of elections in Montreal plus mail-in voting.
Advance polling days will take place on Saturday and Sunday, October 30 and 31, 2021, from 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. in select polling stations.
The actual election will take place over two days on Saturday and Sunday, November 6 and 7, 2021, from 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. in over 400 polling stations around the city
In 2017, 42.5% of registered voters participated in the election, according to Elections Montréal. Will we eclipse that number this year?