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Boston OKs bike-share system with a tech twist

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Boston's roads may be just paved-over cow paths, but come next year, they'll be host to a lot more bicycles.

Canada's Public Bike System Company has been selected to bring a bike rental city to the Hub, with – ahem – roll-out expected by Spring 2010. In May, PBSC launched a successful program, called Bixi, in Montreal. Boston's as-yet-unnamed version will include 2,500 bikes spread over 290 stations at the start, and will be the first citywide bike sharing program in the US. As interest increases, Boston could expand its network to 5,000 bikes in surrounding cities.

Access to Montreal's Bixi is $78 for an annual pass, and the first half-hour of each rental is free. After that, it's $1.50 for the second 30 minutes, $3 for the third, and $6 (!?) for subsequent half-hour increments. A day pass for the system (think tourists) costs $5, with the same hourly charges. No word yet on if the Boston system will employ the same pricing structure, but if it does, use it for, say, a ride from the Boston Common to the Christian Science Center, not from the North End to Fenway.

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