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Dallaire's bike rolls into town

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Michel Dallaire, Montréal's most well known industrial designer, has just been given the responsibility of designing this city's version of the Velib.

Following project sponsor Stationnement Montréal's call for proposals, Michel Dallaire was chosen as the best candidate to accomplish the task, and certainly the most experienced in terms of city mobility. His mandate includes not only the design of the docking station, but of the bikes themselves, which must accommodate all sizes. Québécois bike maker Devinci has been enlisted to help with the challenge.

The bike-share system exists in many European cities, including Barcelona, Lyon and Paris whose Vélib received much buzz this summer. Montréal will be able to profit from the experiences of these other cities, avoiding pitfalls and finding creative solutions that will respond to the style and technological needs of the Montréal territory.

Montréal's bike will have a more contemporary style than the one from Paris, says Dallaire. (The Parisian bike is all curves,  has a front light and a colour that is a bit retro.) "And it will definitely be lighter!".

The Montréal bike will be produced in aluminum and will have as little soldering as possible. The frame, which must accommodate men and women, big and small, will require some ergonomic compromise. The manufacturing of at least the first series of bikes will take place in the Saguenay region -- only the hardware will be imported. Contrary to European systems, the docking stations will need to be removed in the winter.

The pilot project, which comprises 40 bikes, will be unveiled next fall. Then, the completion of Phase I in 2010 will see the implementation of 300 stations and 2400 bikes throughout Montréal.

Translation by Jennifer Edwards