I'm going on a trip to Montreal for two weeks, arriving in a week. I was previously looking at renting a bike from Dyad for at least a week, but a month-long membership with Bixi is only 30 CAD. However, you signup for the membership online and keys are mailed.

1) Is it possible to get a month-long membership and key for the bikes in person? (i.e. avoid having keys mailed to my home in the US and possibly arriving after I've departed)

2) Given that the two weeks will include a VIA Rail trip to Quebec, am I better off getting a bike rental for the whole time and bringing the bike with me when I go to Quebec (3 day trip)?

3) How reliable is the Bixi system? Again, is just getting a weekly rental bike a better deal for a bike I can rely on (and actually enjoy using for transportation, unlike clunky Bixi bikes?

  • 1
    I think your question 1) is good and interesting. Here, we usually split questions. And your questions 2) and 3) are subjective : "better off", in terms of what? cost? It really depends on how you use the Bixi (if you keep it for more than 45min at a time, for example). And I have no idea what you mean by reliability: if they are robust, if there are a lot of bixi stations and if these always have bikes and/or free slots, ... I think you should only keep the first question. – Vince Jun 1 '15 at 21:50

1) You can have them mailed to someone else's address, maybe where you're staying or if you know anyone in town. There's also a cosubscriber option you can benefit from if you know someone in town who has one. You can also not subscribe and pay per ride, you don't need keys in that case.

2) If you only need 2 weeks' worth of biking, you might want to look at pay per use, it depends on how often you'll need it so I can't say if you're better off. Be aware though that Quebec City has its own network, and that even if you're subscribed to the monthly plan you still pay extra if the ride exceeds 45min (reference), which makes taking the bike out of town a pretty bad idea.

3) Highly subjective, but keep in mind they were designed as a quick way to go from A to B, not as a way to stroll around town. They're pretty heavy to deter theft too. The system is pretty reliable though, there's stations all over town and defective bikes are usually replaced quickly. In my own experience I can say some stations more uphill tend to be emptier because people usually leave them downtown instead

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