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Bixi bike questions

right here
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Bixi bike questions

I'm not sure I understand how the Bixi bikes work. Do I understand, that, for example, I pay for the 24-hour access, and I can go on as many small trips as I choose in those 24 hours?

It seems that the best way to use Bixi, as a tourist, is to pretend I'm a courier, with many errands and just take it for small trips, each one less than 1/2 an hour. For example, take out a Bixi bike, bike to a new area, hopefully less than 1/2 hour away, lock it in the new station, visit the new area, shop, eat etc., and then when ready to tour the next area, get a new bike, start again on another (hopefully) less than 1/2 hour trip? Repeat for the rest of the 24 hours, and if all of my trips (which start when I take out a bike and end at the new station when I lock it back) are under 30 min., then I'll only pay $5?

So the first half hour is free. If I were to pay $5 and get a 24-hour access, and I were to go on a ride of, say, 1-1/2 hours, I'd pay for an hour usage, PLUS the $5?

Montreal
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1. Re: Bixi bike questions

Yup, that's the idea. The $5 is the system access fee if you will: it costs you that no matter what. You can then make as many under-1/2-hour trips as you want, and you'll be charged nothing more. 1 credit card can rent up to 2 bikes, no more, no matter what your limit is.

You get a piece of paper with an unlock code on it, good for the next 5 minutes. Unlock your bike and go. When you dock your bike, make sure the light goes green and it goes t-ching! You have to wait 5 minutes before taking out another bike. To get another unlock code, stick your credit card in the machine, and it'll give you one. (Don't worry, it won't charge your card again).

If any ride lasts longer than 30 minutes, your credit card WILL be charged extra, and in increasing amounts. So if you dock it within an hour, that trip will cost you $1.50 extra. If you dock it within 1.5 hours, that trip will cost you $4.50 ( $1.50 + $3). A 3-hour trip will cost you $16.50 ($1.50 + $3 + $6 + $6).

This is why for those who want to go on longer trips -- say, exploring the many bike paths around Montreal -- it's much better to rent a bike from someplace like www.caroulemontreal.com

If your 30 minutes are approaching and you find the station full, you can put your credit card in and get an extra 15 minutes to find a new station. (If you click on Options, you can even get it to tell you where the closest stations are). Or download one of the Bixi apps for your iPhone -- I use Bixit, which costs, but there are some free ones, too.

Note that Bixi puts a hold on your credit card (of $250) -- and in the past, they've had problems with some banks not releasing the hold soon enough, and the Bixi system putting multiple holds on, so some people found their credit cards refused after a few days of use even with a nice fat credit limit. I don't know if they've solved this, but I bet if it does happen to you, you can phone them and they'll work it out. Every time I've had to phone them I've found them incredibly helpful and even cheerful :)

right here
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2. Re: Bixi bike questions

Thanks. I'm going to investigate your link, but it seems like Bixi is good for a tourist, who plans ahead and knows where to go next.

Montreal, Canada
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for Montreal
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3. Re: Bixi bike questions

That is correct. Bixi was developed as a mode of transportation, not for recreational biking. This is why the 30 min limit was placed.

It's quite smart actually, there aren't that many rides that would take over 30 min, and if they do, a little 5 min break will reset your time.

I don't know if its good for tourists because you have to know your way around, or stop constantly to check a map. If you are used to traveling in a city by bike then you wont have much trouble =)

right here
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4. Re: Bixi bike questions

I agree, but I have a gps with maps of Montreal, and I just downloaded and installed all the Bixi stations as POIs. Now I have a digital map of all the Bixi stations to carry with me!!

Long Beach...
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5. Re: Bixi bike questions

We used Bixi to ride from Jardin Boutanique to Parc La Fontaine and then to Mont Royal. The delightful guide at the information desk at the garden gave us a Bixi map. Our rides were about 20 minutes each along Rue Rachel, and we enjoyed a nice walk and rest at La Fontaine before going on to Mont Royal. We were not ambitious enough to tackle Mont with these rather heavy city bikes but saw others who did! The next morning (and within our 24 hour window), we rode along Canal Lachine to Marche Atwater, where we enjoyed walking around the market. Bixi is a wonderful way to get around the city. The designated bike paths make a big difference in safe cycling on city streets. I highly recommend this system and regret that we do not have it in Los Angeles.

6. Re: Bixi bike questions

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