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Preview offers early taste of bike rental - Metro US

Preview offers early taste of bike rental

Vancouverites can get a glimpse of the city’s bike friendly future this weekend with a demonstration of Montreal’s public bike-sharing program.

The city is looking at a large-scale bike-sharing pilot program that would be in place by the 2010 Games and a full system that could be implemented by next summer.

The Bixi bike system, which will be on-display outside Science World until Monday, is used in Montreal where it has 300 pay stations and more than 2,000 bikes.

A spokesman for Bixi said the system is membership based and the first half-hour is free. Prices increase the longer the bike is out. Bikes can be returned to any of the pay stations.

Mayor Gregor Robertson, who took one of the Bixi bikes for a noon-hour spin in the parking lot of city hall Thursday, said Vancouver is looking to a number of cities, including Montreal and Paris, for examples on how the system would operate.

“For Vancouver itself, we’re talking about more than 1,000 bikes,” said Robertson. “It could be double that. Certainly there is an appetite, I think, in a city this size.”

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