Montreal fire department inspectors have a new means of transport.
As part of a pilot project, some inspectors will use bicycles to get around the city. To start there are only two bicycles and inspectors will focus on the Ville-Marie borough.
“We would like to buy more bicycles for next year,” said Montreal fire department spokesperson Louise Desrosiers. "They're moving faster, have more facilities for parking around the borough of Ville Marie."
Desrosiers said the goal is to cut down on travel time and not have to worry about finding parking.
“Doing this work by bike turns out to be more efficient,” said Montreal public security commission chair Alex Norris. “It’s a better bang for the buck for the taxpayer because more inspections are getting done. More visits are getting done.”
Fire inspectors provide safety tips and make sure bylaws are being respected. Inspector Kevin Francoeur said the bicycles will be a time saver and a way to connect with the public.
"At corners I stop at the light and talk with people, give some advice about fire safety," he said.
The pilot project runs from May to September and there’s already talk of expanding the project for next year.
“Next year we’re thinking of buying 12 more to provide each division with two bicycles each,” said Desrosiers. “So far, it’s going very well. We’re doing some adjustment with the material that we need to make sure that we are efficient on the road.”