MONTREAL, Nov. 6 /CNW Telbec/ - Thanks to the determination and boldness of the managers behind BIXI, the public bike system project developed for the City of Montréal, the Public Bike System Company earned Gold in the Canadian Public Sector Leadership Awards.
During a gala reception in Toronto last night, Roger Plamondon, chair of the board of the Public Bike System Company, received the prestigious award in the Not-for-profit category. "To receive an award recognizing the vision of the managers behind the BIXI project is a real honour but, in addition, the Canadian Public Sector Leadership Awards prove, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that innovative projects and strategic thinking are alive and well in the public sector. BIXI is the first major public bike system in North America, and it has already achieved international renown," declared Plamondon. "Together, our team and collaborators have carried out an ambitious project that targeted excellence and surpassed all expectations in terms of design, innovation, and technology. We believed in this project from the very beginning, and we set the bar high. We were determined to develop the best public bike system in the world - a system, moreover, that has attracted the interest of many other cities seeking sustainable transportation solutions."
"Our system has already been recognized at the local and international levels, but it is particularly meaningful for our initiative and our leadership to be recognized in Canada," noted Alain Ayotte, president of the Public Bike System Company, who has been closely involved in the development of BIXI since day one. "The BIXI project entirely rethought the concept of bike sharing, and we had to meet many challenges along the way. Despite these challenges, just a few months after the project was launched in Montréal, we have already passed the mark of one million BIXI trips - strong evidence of the degree to which residents have assumed ownership of the system," added Ayotte.
Public Sector Leadership Awards
The Public Sector Leadership Awards were designed to encourage and recognize those public sector organizations whose leaders have demonstrated the vision, commitment and capacity to set a new course. They showcase projects and initiatives undertaken by organizations where leadership played a key role in making it possible for major organizational transformation and outstanding performance to occur.
The IPAC/Deloitte Public Sector Leadership Awards program recognizes organizations that have taken bold steps to improve Canada through advancements in public policy and management. Specifically, the program profiles individuals and/or teams who have dared to take their organizations in a new direction in the pursuit of better outcomes. The winning projects reflect the importance of innovation, strategic thinking, trust and team building, shared vision, and effective collaboration and partnerships.
Rio Tinto Alcan, the project's principal partner
As the project's principal partner, Rio Tinto Alcan contributes to its financing. In addition to lending its expertise in the use of aluminum, it provided the aluminum needed to build the bikes and some parts of the stations.
"As the project's principal partner, we warmly congratulate the Public Bike System Company on earning this prestigious award and on the exceptional leadership demonstrated throughout the implementation of the BIXI system," declared Jean Simon, president, Primary Metal - North America, Rio Tinto Alcan. "We are delighted to participate in this innovative, internationally renowned Quebec project, in which we believed from the very start."
BIXI is the City of Montréal's public bike system. With this service, launched in spring 2009, Montrealers can pick up a bike from one station, travel to their destination, and return the bike to any other station in the network. The system now comprises 400 stations and 5,000 bikes deployed throughout Montréal.
BIXI is now part of Montréal's urban landscape, and the project is a resounding success. Just a few months after the system's launch, BIXI has more than 10,000 members and more than a million trips have been made.
The BIXI system has already received prestigious international awards. It placed 19th on Time magazine's list of the best inventions of 2008, took home the gold for best new product in the energy and sustainability category of the 2009 edition of the Edison Best New Products Awards, and earned bronze in the transportation category of the International Design Excellence Award (IDEA).
SOURCE BIXI - Public Bike System Company
For further information: For further information: Bérengère Thériault, Communication coordinator, Public Bike System Company, (514) 868-3776, Cell: (514) 497-9380