Yesterday, I had the opportunity to attend some of the Micro/Macro conference hosted by CAPS (Canadian Association of Planning Students) which took place between the four universities. A representative from Bixi, the public bike-sharing program set to be launched this spring gave a presentation (which I unfortunately missed) on the project. As everyone lined up for lunch, one of the bikes were rolled out for everyone to have a look at. Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to take any close-up shots of the different parts of the bike but was glad to be able to take a good look at it.
The bike, designed by Michel Dallaire Design Industriel (also responsible for much of the furniture in the Grand Bibliothèque as well as much of the urban design of the Quartier International) seems to be very well built and designed. The bike is incredibly simple and obviously made to be very rugged with all delicate parts such as the brakes and derailleur encased in plastic or metal to keep them from being damaged or tampered with. I was however, surprised by how heavy it was and by the fact that it has very wide tires rather than thinner tires that are generally much better on city streets. This design will inevitably cause the bikes to be much slower but perhaps that is the rationale behind the design. Nonetheless, I was very impressed with the bike and look forward to seeing them on the streets this summer.
Also, this map (below) of the future station locations has been posted on the Bixi website. Click the map to see a larger version.