Despite their initial reluctance to embrace Uber, Montreal’s typically been a forward-thinking city when it comes to personal transportation, with their Bixi shared bike service boasting over 5 million annual riders. However, the way Montrealers travel around the downtown core is potentially going to change with the arrival of electric bike sharing service, Jump. Montreal marks the first city in Canada to embrace the Uber-owned service.
What is it?
Jump is an electric bike sharing service that allows riders to reach speeds of up to 32km an hour with minimal effort. That’s because the bikes come equipped with a 350 watt motor, in addition to wireless internet and a GPS unit. Unlike Bixi, there will be no docking stations. Rather, users will download an app, and simply unlock each bike by scanning a QR code. Once they’re done, they can leave the bike at any bike stand.
While much faster than Bixi, the service, which already exists in several U.S cities, is more expensive, with the cost running about 30 cents a minute. A half hour ride would cost nine dollars. The service is designed to be “complementary” to Bixi, but if it takes off, it could thoroughly change the way cyclists navigate the downtown area. The bikes are also allowed on bike paths, and riders do not require a driver’s license to use them.
How will it affect Montreal Real Estate?
Jump has the potential to greatly enhance the way homeowners in the downtown area travel to work. It would be particularly beneficial for those living in boroughs that require complicated bus commutes to and from work. While many use bicycles or Bixi, riding them to work could leave you a bit winded, and Jump seems like it would be a lot easier to use, especially with the built-in GPS. However, their appeal is limited to travelling around specific parts of the city, as they’re only allowed in specific zones. According to their official website, leaving the bike outside the designated zone triggers a $25 fine. The bikes are also only going to available close to downtown, with Verdun and Rosemont La Petite-Patrie the outer limits – no bikes are available yet in the western part of the city like NDG/Westmount.
A launch date for Jump has yet to be decided, but stations have already been built and the service could launch at any moment.