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Montreal introduces citywide rental bikes

Sept. 22, 2008 at 11:32 AM

MONTREAL, Sept. 22 (UPI) -- The French Canadian city of Montreal Monday inaugurated its citywide system of bicycles that can be rented short-term and left behind.

Mayor Gerald Tremblay told reporters the first 40 bikes would tour the city as staff demonstrated how to use the system for short, one-way trips, The Gazette newspaper reported.

The system's name is BIXI, combining bicycle and taxi, and will grow to 2,400 of the custom-made three-speed bikes rotating through 300 solar-powered lock-and-dock stations by next spring, the report said.

A daily pass for the BIXI is $5, a one-month pass $28, and the full season -- mid-April through mid-November -- will cost $78, city officials said.

The bicycles' departures and arrivals are electronically tracked, and anyone who takes longer than 30 minutes will be charged $1.50 for the second half-hour, the third $3 and the fourth $6, the report said.

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