Bixi now available on campus

Posted by on Sep 11, 2013 in Published, Writing | Comments Off on Bixi now available on campus

Originally published in The Fulcrum: August 29, 2013.

Two bike rental stations relocated to U of O

TWO BIXI BIKE stations have been installed on the University of Ottawa campus: one on Waller Street outside Hagen Hall and one outside of the Minto Sports Complex on King Edward Street.

The stations come at a moving cost paid by the university to have the stations relocated from their previous locations west of Centretown.

According to Daniel Spence, sustainable transportation manager at the U of O, the decision to have stations on campus was made in light of “the anticipated congestion and mobility issues related to Ottawa Light Rail Transit construction adjacent to our campus.”

The Bixi program is a way of providing staff and students with an alternative to driving.

There have been other changes to the Bixi system. Stations at the Somerset Street West and Arthur Street intersection and Preston Street and Carling Avenue intersection have been removed until the end of the season.

During the winter months, the National Capital Commission (NCC) will examine a number of factors to assess where stations should be located in 2014. According to NCC communications officer Emily Keogh, this process is undertaken every year to maximize efficiency and ensure proper management.

Keogh said the target audience for the two new U of O stations is students, staff, and visitors on campus, as well as tourists and nearby residents. Spence hopes students and staff living in communities close to the other 23 Bixi stations in Ottawa will see this as “a healthy, active option for getting to campus even if they don’t own a bike, or they left it at home when they moved to Ottawa.”

The Bixi system uses two options: memberships and access passes. Memberships are offered at both a 30-day ($30.25) and yearly ($80.50) rate. The first 45 minutes of a trip are included in the membership with cost increasing after that point.

Access passes are offered at either 24-hour ($7) or 72-hour ($15) rates, and include the first 30 minutes of each trip. Within any time period, users may rent a bike as many times as they want, and a new trip is started each time the bike is docked into a station.

“The Parking and Sustainable Transportation Division will continue to offer the free Bike-Share program as we consider the use-cases as very different,” Spence said in an email.

According to Spence, the Bixi program will cater to different users than the existing Bike-Share program offered by the Parking and Sustainable Transportation Division. The Bike-Share program is mostly used recreationally by students who live in residence or Sandy Hill, whereas the Bixi program accommodates tourists and commuters traveling from one end of the city to the other.

As a back-to-school special, Capital Bixi is offering $10 off a 30-day subscription until Oct. 15