Bixi season starts early as City of Montreal makes investment to improve and make bike paths safer

As another busy bike season is about to begin, the City of Montreal aims to make cycling on its bike path network even safer and for even longer.

On Tuesday, the city announced 29 projects to create and secure Montreal bike paths, as well as develop and upgrade 33.3 kilometres of its extensive network. In total, more than $30 million will be invested for these projects in 2024.

In the past, the BIXI network opened on April 15, but not this year. Initial estimates were exceeded for a year-round BIXI service pilot project, which took place between November 2023 and March 2024. Over 50,000 individuals used the service during this period with 65 per cent of the customers saying that is was their first time trying out winter biking. The non-profit is taking advantage of stations kept open over the winter, rolling them into the next season as of today.

The city has promised 200 kilometres of new bike paths as part of its overall 2023-2027 Bicycle Vision plan.

“The more the city expands its cycling network, the more cycling gains in popularity,” Marianne Giguère, the city’s associate advisor for active transportation on Montreal’s executive committee, said in a press release.

BIXI self-service station in Montreal. (Martin Daigle, CityNews Image)

“Where cycling is less popular, very often, it’s due to a lack of safe bike paths,” she continues. “The new developments planned will not only benefit those who travel by bike, but also all road users who will benefit from a more equitable and secure sharing of our space.”

Several major projects underway to improve network

The program, which affects 13 boroughs and three linked cities, aims to improve connectivity throughout the metropolis.

Among the flagship projects included in the 2024 program, are the REV boulevard Henri-Bourassa, the REV Viger/Saint-Antoine/Saint-Jacques, the REV Jean-Talon,

Maurice-Duplessis and Terrebonne Streets.

BIXI bike in Montreal. (Martin Daigle, CityNews Image)

New bike paths installed this year aim to improve safety and cyclists’ riding experience, and will join other projects planned for 2025, such as phase 2 of the REV Henri-Bourassa, the extension of the Côte-Sainte-Catherine trail, efforts to make the intersection of avenues du Parc and du Mont-Royal safer, and the consolidation of the first phase of the REV Jean-Talon/Bélanger.

“By developing our cycling network, Montreal is providing essential street sharing for the comfort and safety of all users,” states the head of transport and mobility on the city’s executive committee, Sophie Mauzerolle. “We are proud of the progress we have made so far, and we’re firmly committed to continuing the work.”

With the success of BIXI’s pilot project, Mauzerolle has also announced that the service will be continuing year round for the 2024 to 2025 season.

The City of Montreal urges cyclists to consult its bicycle network map posted online on to better plan their trips.

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