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BIXI Toronto set to launch in May 2011

Posted by Derek Flack / November 30, 2010

20100729_BIXI Bike.jpgBIXI Toronto has met its key targets, though a two week extension to today's sponsorship deadline means that an official announcement has yet to be made. After the bike-sharing program reached 1000 members on October 18, the remaining hurdle for approval from the City of Toronto was the need to secure $600,000 in sponsorship funds (over each of the next three years) by November 30.

With ING already having committed to $450,000, news about the program had gone mostly quiet following the mid-October membership milestone. But, in the absence of a formal announcement prior to today's deadline, a few whispers of concern appeared on the program's Facebook page. I thought it was pretty odd too, so I contacted the City of Toronto and Quebec-based Public Bike System Company in search of confirmation that the targets had been met.

They have -- mostly. Daniel Egan, City of Toronto manager of pedestrian and cycling infrastructure, told me over the phone that "BIXI has essentially met all the milestones, but the sponsorship deadline was extended by a couple of weeks to finalize some of the details." That's why there hasn't been a formal announcement -- the program isn't actually officially a go until this happens. But, regardless of this slight extension, Egan confirmed that the May 2011 "launch date remains the same."

So despite how quiet it's been on the BIXI front, members and fans of the program do have something to celebrate, after all.

Photo by Annia V.



Natty / November 30, 2010 at 04:49 pm
I cannot wait for the BIXI program to start, so that I can STOP taking the TTC.
Bubba / November 30, 2010 at 05:34 pm
not if Rob Ford has his way!
Eli / November 30, 2010 at 05:55 pm
Yay! Good luck to Bixi Toronto with finalizing the sponsorship contracts!
chephy replying to a comment from Natty / November 30, 2010 at 06:10 pm
Really? I'm curious - what's your situation like that would actually make it more reasonable to use BIXI rather than the TTC? Do you tend to travel to the downtown core in the morning and then take occasional short trips there before finally returning home for the day? Is it those short trips you're planning to cut out? Are they always within the restrictive Phase 1 BIXI boundaries?

I really do want BIXI to succeed, even though I personally don't need it since I just ride my own bikes everywhere anyway. However, in this form, I don't even see to whom it's going to be useful. The struggle to get 1000 memberships may be indicative of something significant here...
Bob / November 30, 2010 at 08:41 pm
Montreal is $78 and 300 stations. Toronto is $95 and 80 stations. Hmmmmm
alex / November 30, 2010 at 09:13 pm
stop the gravy bike!
Alex / November 30, 2010 at 11:14 pm
@Bob - Bixi Toronto runs 365 days a year, Montreal's bixi stations and bikes are picked up for the winter months beginning in November I believe.
Douglas / November 30, 2010 at 11:21 pm
Alex, I hope you are being sarcastic (if so, witty indeed).

If not, you statement is silly because this is being done as a business and the Toronto government is not subsidizing this at all - rather they are providing a loan!
Bob / December 1, 2010 at 01:56 am
@Alex - Good catch about the money Vs. seasons.

I still call bullshit on the number of stations considering the population of Toronto.

gadfly / December 1, 2010 at 06:29 am
I can't wait for the snow to start to those free-loading cyclists will stay off the roads for another 5 months.............
Antony / December 1, 2010 at 09:03 am
gadfly, what gaping hole in your soul does trolling blogto fill?
Melissa / December 1, 2010 at 09:30 am
gadfly wtf are you talking about 'free loaders'? We pay taxes just the same as you to pave the streets, are you all pissy cause you have to fill up your gas tank and I don't?
J / December 1, 2010 at 10:19 am
Hey Rob, I hope you consider the penalty fees on canceling Bixi before you make any promises!
alex / December 1, 2010 at 11:00 am
@douglas yes i was ;)
Kieran / December 1, 2010 at 11:39 am
Don't worry! Rob Ford will take care of this mess!
asdgfasdg replying to a comment from Bob / December 1, 2010 at 01:05 pm
The thing is, the program is just starting.. plus, there's the issue of safety on the roads - it causes worry of maintenence on thos bikes.

It's not like Montreal where everything for bikers is safe, at least not yet.
iSkyscraper / December 1, 2010 at 01:28 pm
Shame that Toronto missed out on the chance to lead on this issue -- as in other matters, it now has to look to American cities or Montreal to learn how to be a good city -- but better late than never.

douglas / December 1, 2010 at 02:01 pm
@alex - good to hear. I can get pretty dim when it comes to sarcasm so no offense I hope!
ssre replying to a comment from chephy / December 3, 2010 at 01:10 pm
"I'm curious - what's your situation like that would actually make it more reasonable to use BIXI rather than the TTC?"

Ihave to use cases.

1) I work at King and Spadina. I take the streetcar down Spadina but that is slow. I'd rather go from St. Andrew's subway and bike the short distance. TTC Buses are often full/unpredictable (one of those do I walk, or wait decisions).

2) I go to a gym near Lakeshore and at the east end of the Gardner. There are bike paths there. I'd like to be able to bike down the DVP trail, and park the bike and go to gym - and decide if I TTC or bike home after gym. I'd also like to get there after work, and I have to take 2 buses and a subway to do so. I'd eliminate that bus (this presumes Bixi eventually extends to Cawthra/Lakeshore area).

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