Bixi Sighting: New Ads Mark Roll Out of 2011 Bikes

Here are some of the first bixis of 2011, notice anything different? New ads, mounted above the wheel and on the baskets, have raised a lot of criticism on Twitter so far.

Most of the docking-stations around town are still empty. But bixis are starting to appear, here in Mile-End outside Café Olypmico, ahead of Friday's launch. (Andy Riga of The Gazette, has more photos.)

 When it launched in 2008, Bixi was proud of the fact that it wasn't funded by advertising.  But that changed, first with ads on the docking stations and now on the bikes.  I have to say that I'm disappointed, but not surprised.  London's bixi system launched last year with identical ads. Once I saw those I knew it was only a matter of time.

There is already more than enough advertising in public space, and the new ads clutter up the bikes elegant simplicity. That said the new revenue is allowing BIXI to keep prices low and expand services to four new neighbourhoods on the island (Notre Dame de Grâce, Verdun, Ahuntsic and Westmount.)  But given that last year  BIXI was been reported to be running a $1million profit, are the ads really necessary?

As I've mentioned in an earlier post, Bixi had an excellent year last year.  But there still plenty of tweaking and tuning that could make it a really transformative part of a broader multi-modal transportation system on the island.  Let's hope that this third season has more in store than just ads.


2 Responses to "Bixi Sighting: New Ads Mark Roll Out of 2011 Bikes"

saskboy said... 14 April 2011 at 11:51

Ads are nothing a little carefully placed duct tape can't fix ;-)

Alex Aylett said... 14 April 2011 at 12:22

True. The advertising had some backlash in London last year as well.


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