BIXI Toronto set to launch in May 2011
BIXI 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.