Many have found inspiration in Paris's wildly successful Vélib program; its 20,600 bikes have already been used on 27 million rides. Washington, D.C., became the first city in North America to unveil its own program with 120 bikes this summer. Those familiar with American schemes say Montreal's is the most ambitious.
'It's probably going to be the largest bike-sharing program in North America,' said Paul DeMaio, a bike-sharing consultant in the Washington, D.C., area who writes The Bike-Sharing Blog. "I think Montreal's is going to be one of the best.'
Montreal's program - 40 bikes will be on demonstration for free for the next six weeks - will get its official rollout in the spring, with 2,400 bicycles available at 300 stations across the city."