Bixi Bike Service Expanding in Ottawa

  The experimental bike share/rental system in Ottawa-Gatineau will expand next year.

There are currently 4 stations – including the NAC, Musee de Civilization, and ByWard Market. The sleek bikes have 3 speeds in an internal hub (protected), an internal chain (no greasy stains on your pants or sox), adjustable seats, head and tail lights, and of course a distinctive shape.

The system will be expanded to 50 sites, but whether this is all next year or over several years is not yet clear. Sites have to be reasonably close together to be useful, frequent, and at desired destinations. Presumably the operators want to expand beyond the tourist market and get frequent daily use by residents. In Montreal, bixi bikes are rented an average of 10 times per day.

I can image that the NCC will put stations at tourist sites. A difficulty I see is if someone cycles out to the museum of agriculture and parks their bike but then comes out and finds no bikes in the rack … its a long walk back to the downtown or an expensive cab ride.

I found myself wondering where bike stations might go in the west side neighborhoods. First thoughts include
 – the War Museum,
– St Vincent Hospital (it is a major work site even if the patients already have their own wheels),
 – Cambridge/Somerset by the new Chinatown Arch so people can pop over to Chinatown for Dim Sum,
– 333 Preston as its a major employment centre and popular restaurant hub in Little Italy,
– Dows Lake/Commissioner’s Park,
– the Booth St government office complex (ride a bike to see your colleagues at Treasury Board rather than using a taxi chit)(may double as a Commissioner’s Park site),
– CMPA building or Otrain station at Carling, as an employment node and high density residential node (2 more 8 floor condo towers are coming to the site)
– Bayview Station (take the bus or train to the station, hop on a bike)
– Tunney’s Pasture station
– corner of Holland/West Wellington, to access the restaurants and shops
– Civic Hospital

Any other suggestions? I’ll add them to the list. It sure doesn’t long to come up with 50 suggested locations!
Plant Recreation Complex
LeBreton Station