Following the example set by Paris and Lyon, Montreal plans to be the first city in North America to set up a large-scale "self-serve" public bicycle rental service.
Montreal announced yesterday it will follow Paris's bike path and offer hundreds of bicycles for self-serve rent.
"The first city-issue self-serve bikes are to appear at specially designed outdoor stations in fall 2008. By autumn 2009, it's expected 2,400 bikes will be available for as little as $1 per half-hour, at 300 stations around central neighbourhoods."
Earlier this year, Montreal announced a $3.7-million project to create a four-kilometre, all year long (read "open in Canadian Winter") bicycle path across its downtown core.
The Parisian model for Montreal's experiment, known as Vélib, has been an extraordinary success. Within less than a fortnight, Vélib (an amalgam of vélo and libre) has registered more than 440,000 rentals.
Thanks to Francois Goulet