Well, we’re exactly a week away from the official launch of Montreal’s self-serve BIXI bike service. 300 bike posts began to be erected as of last week. It’s expected that 150 will be in full service as of May 12, the launch date. As for the other 150 stations, the plan is to have them in place by June. In all, 3000 bikes will be available to Montrealers.

So you might be thinking… “Hmm, sounds good to me, but what’ll be the damage to my wallet?” Well, surprisingly, it’s not that bad (and this is coming from a quasi-broke University student). The BIXI network works on a subscription-based system. The monthly rate is $28, while the yearly rate (May through November) is $78. The first half-hour is always free and then a minimal fee applies for every other half hour.

You’ll be able to catch the first BIXI stations at Mount Royal metro as well as at Emilie-Gamelin park. The first phase will be centered around the following boroughs: Ville-Marie, Sud-Ouest, Villeray/St-Michel, the Plateau, Outremont, and Rosemont/La Petite Patrie. Future stations are in the works for the east end and NDG/Cote-des-Neiges.