Bicycle culture is in vogue in Greater Montréal and the various levels of government have got the message. Several initiatives have been put in place over the past few years to make life easier for the region’s growing number of cyclists. Montréal even ranked first in North America in the Bicycle-Friendly Cities 2013 list compiled by The Copenhagenize.
BIXI, the city’s public bicycle system, is definitely one of the most significant advances of the last few years. One of Time magazine’s Top 50 inventions of 2008, BIXI’s ultra-sturdy bicycles are available to rent for short trips from BIXI stations around the island of Montréal at a reasonable cost. Having racked up more than 4 million trips in 2012, BIXI is now a part of daily life in Montréal.
The number of reserved bike lanes is constantly increasing. For example, in early 2013 the government of Québec and certain Montréal-area municipalities announced that they will be investing $60 million in a bicycle path of over 140 kilometres linking Oka, on the North Shore, with Mont Saint-Hilaire, on the South Shore.
Is this important to Greater Montréal’s attractiveness?
Though rarely covered in this blog, topics relating to quality of life are significant in attracting foreign businesses. In today’s knowledge-based economy, more and more businesses are locating where the qualified workers are. Thus, it is very important that cities develop dynamic urban living environments to attract and retain top talent.
Francis Langlois, Analyst, Economic Research Division