- On its website, BIXI Montreal confirmed that it is considered an essential service and will be ready as planned for a spring launch.
- The company did suggest, however, that it would introduce new protective measures for riders.
We might be sedentary but the weather is not. Despite quarantine, spring is here and only getting warmer. And though many of the events and activities that normally herald the warm season have been cancelled, BIXI Montreal has confirmed it's not going anywhere.
On its website, the bike-sharing service confirmed that it's considered an essential service in the province and will therefore remain operational during the pandemic.
The BIXI spring launch will happen on schedule. After April 15, Montrealers will be able to zoom around the city once again.
"BIXI is part of essential transportation and logistics services," the company writes on its website.
"Our priority is to comply with public health recommendations while ensuring the launch of our service."
"Preventive measures are in place, and we are considering the best course of action for the benefit of the community. Rest assured that hygiene is the focus of our concerns."
BIXI has not stated whether it will begin more rigorous cleaning schedules like those on the metro (wiping down poles and handles, etc.), but it has suggested it will release several new rules for passengers in light of the outbreak.
On March 18, the service announced that it had begun installing its stations around the city.
"As we deal with the global context of COVID-19 and continue to learn more about the measures taken by our various governments every hour, we wish to inform you that BIXI is working in compliance with the safety guidelines prescribed by public authorities."
The post further explains that BIXI will be in "constant contact" with both the city and public health officials as it approaches the beginning of its season.
Quebec is currently "on pause," in the words of Premier François Legault.
Non-essential services have shuttered and strict social distancing measures are in place to stop the spread of COVID-19 in the province, including a ban on all gatherings and a recommendation that residents maintain a two-meter distance from other people.
Right now, it's unclear if and how these regulations will affect BIXI service.
Stay tuned for more information.