MONTREAL, Aug. 14, 2018 /CNW Telbec/ - After several months of preparations, BIXI Montréal will be launching the electric bike pilot project tomorrow. From August 15 to November 15, 2018, BIXI users will be able to try the electric bikes that will be part of the BIXI Montréal bike-sharing network. A fleet of 20 electric bikes will be available for use for the launch and BIXI Montréal plans to add an additional fleet of electric bikes over the coming weeks.
"It's an evolving pilot project. Due to availability and operational reasons, only one supplier will be used for the electric bikes from the start," mentioned Christian Vermette, CEO of BIXI Montréal. " The goal of this operation is to determine the cost, risks, operational requirements and criteria for success when thinking of expanding this on a larger scale, if the pilot project is successful." said Mr. Vermette.
We are observing a growing craze for self-service electric bikes. Electric bike-sharing systems allow users to get around faster, are more convinient and require less physical effort." Thanks to the pilot project, we will evaluate the interest, users behavior as well as the impact of electic-assisted bikes on BIXI's daily operations and the effect on urban mobility in Montreal" said BIXI Montréal's Chairman of the Board, Ms. Marie Elaine Farley.
The public is invited to wear protective helmets
BIXI Montréal is asking for the public to participate in this pilot project and to ride an electric BIXI to get from one station to another more quickly and easily. Each time they use an electric bike, users will be invited to complete a survey to share their experience and interest in the bikes.
To ride in electric mode, users must:
- Be at least 14 years old (a Class 6D license is required for 14-17 year olds), be at least 1.24 m (4 ft) tall and wear a protective helmet (mandatory for the electric bikes).
- Rent an electric BIXI the same way they rent a regular BIXI, by either using an unlocking code or inserting their BIXI key at the docking point. The fee for renting an electric bike will be the same as for a regular BIXI bikes: $2.95 for occasional users (30-minute ride or less) or free for members (45-minute ride or less). Additional fees apply after the allocated trip period.
- Use the BIXI app to find an electric bike and locate a station on the map with a lightening icon.
A pilot project in two different environments
While 20 electric bikes are added to the BIXI network, BIXI Montréal will also be doing a test simultaneously with five (5) electric bikes and two (2) stations connected to the electric network in the Saint-Laurent borough. This closed circuit test will provide participants with another accessible and innovative option for getting around in an industrial neighbourhood of Montreal that is not yet part of the BIXI network.
The test in the Saint-Laurent borough will only take place with certain preselected users. From August 15 to October 31, 2018, only Public Works employees from the Saint-Laurent borough will be able to try the electric bikes. The stations located at the Côte-Vertu metro station and at the Public Works office will be available for them to use. These employees will be able to borrow one (1) of the five (5) electric bikes by using an exclusive BIXI electric bike access card and by complying with the same usage conditions and safety rules, including wearing a protective helmet.
By having the pilot project take place in two different environments, BIXI Montréal will be able to evaluate managing an electric bike-sharing system connected to an electric network (closed circuit test) and one that is not connected an electric network (test within the BIXI network).
PBSC Urban Solutions electric bikes
The electric bikes and the two stations that will be used in the pilot project launch have been lent to BIXI by the Quebec company PBSC Urban Solutions, BIXI Montréal's current supplier. The electric bike model that was tested is called the Boost and was designed and manufactured by the company Cycles Devinci in Saguenay. The electric assistance in the Boost is automatically activated by pedaling and can reach up to 25 km/hr. The speed is set by BIXI Montréal to ensure a safe user experience. The battery, which is integrated into the electric bike frame, allows riders to cover a span of 60 km when it is fully charged. The batteries can be recharged in four (4) hours using a docking point at one of the two (2) stations directly connected to the electric network (in the case of the closed circuit test). When batteries cannot be recharged at an electric station (in the case of the test in the current BIXI network where the 540 stations are not connected to the electric network), BIXI Montréal will implement different ways for the batteries to be recharged optimally for the electric bikes.
Next stages of the pilot project
Once the pilot project has been completed on November 15, BIXI Montréal will analyze the results and produce a report that will establish the parametres and conditions necessary for implementing an electric bike-sharing system on a larger scale in the Montreal metropolitan area. The report should be finalized by the beginning of spring 2019.
About BIXI Montréal
BIXI Montréal is a non-profit organization created by the City of Montreal to manage the bike-sharing system in Montreal. As of 2018, the network has 6,250 bikes and 540 stations in Montreal, Longueuil and Westmount. Their mission is to transform urban mobility with an active, accessible, innovative and collaborative experience.
About PBSC Urban Solutions
By offering sustainable technological solutions for smart cities, PBSC is changing the world, one city at a time. As a world leader in bike-sharing technologies and a pioneer in urban mobility, the PBSC team designs, distributes and operates – either directly using their operations subsidiary, or indirectly using a world network of local partners – the most advanced urban solutions adapted for smart cities. Known as a carrier of social innovation, PBSC currently has three bike models – ICONIC, FIT and BOOST (an electric bike) – that are used around the world, and they continue to expand their international reach with 60,000 bikes, 5,000 stations and over 240 million trips taken to date.
SOURCE BIXI Montréal
For further information: Audrey Messier-Morissette for BIXI Montréal, 514 746-8575, [email protected]