August 18, 2014 (Montreal, QC) – Bixi ridership numbers are down this year in Montreal compared to the average of the past five years revealed the management of the public bike share program. This is despite Montreal mayor Denis Coderre earlier this year asking for city residents to “show their love” for Bixi in what could be a “make it or break it” season for renowned bike share program. Despite the drop in numbers, managers of the service maintain that they are on track to having a successful year.
As reported, Bixi’s parent company, Public Bike Share Company, filed for bankruptcy protection in January, leaving creditors on the hook for some $50 million. Montreal, the biggest creditor, took over local operations of the bike share service while operations elsewhere were sold to businessman Bruno Rodi for $4 million.
For the month of July, some 583,702 Bixis were rented in 2014 compared to 618,000 (the average rented in July over the past five years); a drop of about 6%. As of July, the number of occasional riders was 60,302 versus 95,670 in 2012 and 72,629 in 2013.
Marie Élaine Farley, chair of Bixi Montreal’s board of directors maintains that things are going well at a recent press conference, blaming the lower numbers on a cold, wet season to date. On Monday, Montreal City Council will vote on whether to loan Bixi operations another $350,000 on top of a $460,000 loan earlier this year.
CBC article here.
The Gazette here.