Electric Bikes Will Compete with Bixi this Summer in Montreal

Jump, a subsidiary of Uber which provides electric bike and scooter sharing, will be coming to Montreal as of May 2019. The New York based outfit allows you to park you bike or scooter pretty much anywhere, and you can find these conveyances right in the Uber app you probably already have.

The fact that you don’t need a docking station could be an advantage over Bixi. And for those heading uphill from Old Montreal to the Mile End, the electric motors could be a nice feature as well.

Once you find the bike you’re looking for (scooters will be added later on in Montreal) you will get a pin code right on your phone. Enter that code directly into a keypad on the back of the bike (see photo), unlike Bixi where the code is entered on the docking station. There is also an option where riders can scan a QR code on the bike to unlock it. There is a steel U-shaped metal bar that riders must take with them to secure the ride at their next stop. The bikes can be parked on any old bike rack, which saves riders the trouble of riding around looking for bicycle parking in the middle of the night because the docking station nearest their home is full (I’ve been there!).

On the other hand, some residents in cities where these kinds of dockless systems are already in operation have at times complained that the bikes and scooters are sometimes left in inappropriate places, blocking busy sidewalks, wheelchair ramps and entrances metro stations. Jump does have a section on its website encouraging riders to park responsibly.

When reached for comment Jean-Christophe de Le Rue, Uber’s Public Policy Manager for Canada told MTLinTech We believe that bike sharing — working with other shared mobility options — can help tackle congestion. For example, our own data shows that adopters of JUMP e-bikes are replacing up to 15% of their Uber trips with JUMP trips, especially during rush hour.  We are excited about the opportunity in Montreal, and look forward to continued collaboration with the city to increase sustainable mobility.”

A statement from the City of Montreal earlier this week proclaims a new bylaw developed in collaboration with the boroughs, defining three types of spaces dedicated to the parking of these vehicles:

  1. On bike racks (in the 19 boroughs),
  2. In zones more than 5 meters from an intersection identified at the annex to the by-law (about forty in the Borough of Ville-Marie to begin); or
  3. In the designated areas identified in the appendix (no zone is identified at the moment).

Operators like Jump must also obtain a permit. Fees are based on the size of the fleet they wish to deploy on the city’s territory. Rates are a minimum of $ 15,000 and can grow to over $ 27,500. The bylaw also puts the onus on the bike operators to move their bikes if or when they are obstructing walkways or roadways or are otherwise not properly parked.


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