The Ottawa area now has four bicycle rental kiosks – two in Gatineau, and two on the Ottawa side. The company that provides them is called Bixi and they are priced to encourage brief usage: free for 30 minutes, $1.50 for the next thirty, $3.00 for the next thirty, and then $6.00 for each half hour after that. To take one out, you swipe your credit card. It charges the appropriate amount when returned to another station. Montreal has a system with the same bikes: 3,000 of them at 300 locations. The Montreal system apparently cost $15 million, and is expected to pay itself off with user fees.
The stations are outside the Portage Complex and near the Civilization Museum in Gatineau, as well as beside the ByWard Market on Sussex near York and on the other side of the Canal at Elgin and Queen.
I want to try doing a rally between all four, making each trip in less than half an hour, so as to make it all free. Going from Portage to the Civilization Museum would be a breeze. From there to the ByWard stop would also be pretty easy, across the Alexandra Bridge. The trip between the Ottawa stations would be short, but going from the Elgin station back to Portage would be the trickiest part to achieve in half an hour, though still very possible.
The system should be very useful for both visitors and residents. I hope people treat it with respect.