After deliberations made by the city of Montreal and Montreal's regional public health department, the launch of BIXI moved forward as planned yesterday as of 6am to offer another form of public transportation in Montreal for essential travel in the city—the best part of the announcement is that essential workers in the public health and social service sectors can take advantage of a 30-day subscription for free.
#COVID19: Today marks the start of the @BIXImontreal season. At the recommendation of @Santepub_Mtl, BIXI is back to offer another transit option. We are happy that BIXI is offering a free 30-day subscription to healthcare personnel. #polmtl— Valérie Plante (@Val_Plante) April 15, 2020
If you're a health care worker or part of the social services system, expect for your place of work to offer instructions on how to access BIXI services for free for 30 days. It's something worth considering when more than 200 institutions around the city are at least within 500 meters of a BIXI station.
Any concerns regarding the risks surrounding the use of public bikes should note that BIXI is implementing new and important measures based on the recommendations of public health. New procedures and protocols, such as disinfecting and cleaning bikes, docks for bikes and the stations that coordinate and dispense ride-sharing tickets will be in place, and there are revised instructions for riders.
As of 2019, BIXI's entire territory now has 600 stations and an additional 1,000 bikes spread out over 16 boroughs. This is by no means an encouragement for Montrealers to get out and about, and the municipal, provincial and federal encouragements to stay indoors and restrict going out for only the most essential of reasons in staying in effect.
That hasn't prevented people from needing to stretch their legs for a jog or a breath of air that doesn't come from their apartments from time to time, so the option to ride for responsible exercise and grocery runs will be a welcome addition to getting around on the streets and taking part in safe social distancing.