Saturday, May 23, 2009

The New Key To The City: Bikes

Cities and hotels are inviting guests to cruise around like locals, and Montreal's new bike-sharing program is leading the way

From The Globe And Mail:

On the streets of Montreal, where visitors once flocked to watch Formula One cars race through the streets, you can now cruise the city on two wheels. That is, on one of the 3,000 sleek bicycles in the city's new bike-sharing program.

Launched this month, Bixi is North America's largest and most innovative bike-sharing program, billed as a green, cheap method of getting around. With the city's 450 kilometres of bike paths, you can cruise around like a local. “Tourists are most welcome to use the system and experience the city the way local residents do,” Tourisme Montreal's Patrick Guidote says.

As urban cycling gains in popularity, following the European example, cities and hotels are offering bike-sharing and bike paths – along with bikes as amenities for guests – as a way to attract visitors and open up a new tourism experience.

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