Sadly, it seems that the Montreal BIXI program may be going down the path of Paris' Vélib', the bicycle rental program that served as it's model.
The Vélib' program has been decimated by vandalism and the theft of thousands of bicycles. The Globe and Mail has a depressing article about it.
Over 8,000 of the 20,000 bicycles in Paris have been stolen and thousands more vandalized.
Now BIXI honchos are reporting that they are starting to see similar problems, albeit in much diminished proportions.... so far.
To date, over 40 of the 2,ooo BIXI bikes have been stolen. LINK
Since BIXIs and Vélib's have virtually no value to thieves, it's maddening that people would sabotage such a wonderfully communal idea. Those who do, are cut from the same cloth as computer virus propagators. Evil for evil's sake. Bah!
The Vélib' program is in such trouble that the city of Paris plastered posters around the city in an effort to humiliate the guilty.
Here's a sad pictorial of what the vandalism looks like;