Cyclists in Quebec can now get their bikes fixed, after the province deemed bike repair shops an essential service, but those who rely on a Bixi to get around Montreal may have to wait a little longer.
Montreal’s public health director, Mylène Drouin, said Wednesday the city may have to delay the April 15 start date of the bike-sharing service for health and safety reasons during the COVID-19 pandemic.
She said a decision would be announced soon, and that she considered cycling a safer commuting option than taking public transit.
In a statement last week, Bixi said it was in discussions with public health and that it would be revealing the measures it will take to sanitize the bikes.
The Quebec government added bike repair shops to the list of essential services April 1.
The provincial cycling lobby, Vélo Québec, had pressed asking the government to make the change, arguing cycling is an essential mode of transportation, and safer than public transit during the COVID-19 crisis.
Julien Roy, who owns Vélos-Roy-O in Quebec City, welcomed the change. His store was raided by police for being open on the weekend.
“Bike shops like ours are really there for repairing and servicing commuting bikes, so it’s people going to work everyday; it’s people making deliveries on bikes, so that’s why we need to be available to them,” he said.