We know that car sharing is becoming more and more popular around the world, but who knew so many cities were trying to be the next first thing when it comes to bike sharing? Is there some sort of bicycle primary coming up, and the earlier these cities get on board, the better off they think they'll be? (Sorry, that comment will only make sense if you follow U.S. politics).

In any case, San Francisco just announced that it would try and get Clear Channel to help start bike sharing in that town and now we find that Montreal is also working on a "self-serve bicycle rental project." Both cities can learn something from how bike sharing is being done in Paris.

According to the Montreal Gazette, Montreal wants to be the first city in North America to set up a large-scale bike sharing service. That means getting it fully operational by late 2009, with the first bike stations available in about a year. Numbers? 2,400 bikes at 300 stations for around $1CDN a half hour. Overall project cost is around $15 million, but the hope is for it to be self-financing at some point. An added bonus (or an added trouble, depending) is that the more bikes there are, the slower cars will have to drive, according to lobbyist Suzanne Lareau of Vélo Québec. Hey, it's critical mass, North America.

[Source: Montreal Gazette via Treehugger]

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