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BIXI Forces Montreal Bike Shop To Close ?

by John Symon

August 05, 2011 (Montreal, QC) – A Montreal bike shop owner claims that competition from the municipally-operated BIXI bike rentals is forcing him to close his shop. Roberto Rosenbluth will close the shop, Bicycletteries JR – located at 937 Belanger Street – at the end of September reports QMI. Apart from selling and repairing bikes, Rosenbluth also rents bicycles and cites how bike rentals fell from 250 in a normal year to 10 this year. There is a BIXI station on the same street corner as his store.

Bicycletteries JR has three locations according to its website and Rosenbluth is moving his Belanger Street inventory to another location on Villeray Street, an area of town far removed from where Montreal’s 5,050 BIXIs are located. A third JR retail outlet is located in Laval, north of Montreal and even farther from BIXI territory.

The owner of another bike rental shop, André Giroux of Ça Roule Montréal, also reports that BIXI has had a negative impact on his business. And earlier this week, another Montreal area bike shop owner told Pedal that he did not want to open any new stores in those parts of town where BIXI is present.

A spokesman for BIXI, Michel Philibert, denies however that the popular rental bikes target the same clientele as bike shops. “Our clients use their bikes to get from point A to point B.” Jacques Quévillon, the owner of the Velo Montreal bike shop, compares BIXIs to taxis. The name BIXI is in fact a contraction of the words ‘bicycle’ and ‘taxi’

Original article in French HERE.

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