BIXI a losing proposition for taxpayers: study

The BIXI bike system will have cost Montrealers $60 million over 10 years while making just a minor impact on the environment by 2019, according to a new study by the Montreal Economic Institute.

The study, published on Wednesday, said that only public funds have allowed BIXI to generate surpluses. Taxpayers contribute nearly $3 million annually to the organization, and there are plans for the city to spend $9 million over the next three years on equipment and new stations.

The City of Montreal took control of BIXI after the company that previously ran the bicycles went bankrupt in 2014.

Institute vice-president Jasmin Guenette said instead of supporting a service that runs at a deficit, Montreal might be better off developing the city’s bike network.

The study also criticizes BIXI’s impact on the environment, saying most uses of the bicycles replaced travelling by foot or public transport, rather than by car.

The new BIXI season will begin on April 16.