By Ben Fried
A reader sends this photo taken on the west side of Union Square this morning. You're looking at a temporary installation of a Bixi bike-share station. Bixi is one of three bike-share providers that have set up short demos this month at DOT's invitation -- the other brands are Eco-Trip and BCycle.
You can't get the full bike-share experience without a whole network of stations, but if you want to see how the check-out mechanism works and get a feel for how these Bixi bikes ride, today's demo will be open until 8 p.m. There are more Bixi and BCycle demos on tap for this week, including sites at Saturday's final Summer Streets installment.
Bixi gobbled up a big slice of the urban bike-share market last week, when London and Boston both announced they would use the Montreal-based operator for their respective systems. If New York follows the lead of those cities and makes a serious commitment to bike-share, you may see thousands of these bikes on the street in the not-too-distant future.
After the jump: Guys in shorts set up the demo.
This piece originally appeared in Streetsblog.