Montreal's high-tech public bicycle system is another in a long line of, sadly, doomed attempts to create a usable alternative to people driving cars everywhere.
The system has some enhancements to try and defray the vandalism and outright theft that these systems have had to deal with in the past. But the reality of these systems is that some people will abuse the bikes solely because they can. The RFID chip will help as will the registration and rental fees by credit card but the idiot patrols will inevitably ruin this good idea because they have nothing better to do with their time.
I'd love for a public bike system to be sustainable. The concept of it is awesome, environmentally friendly and a think globally, act locally paradigm. But the reality is that people are assholes and they'll ruin anything.
A public bike system could work in a gated community or in a community where all the members are known and can he held accountable. A public bike system let loose in a city will just get eaten alive.