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It's official! BIXI to launch in Toronto May 3rd

Posted by Derek Flack / March 15, 2011

BIXI Toronto May 3rdConfirmation at last! BIXI bike-sharing will officially launch in Toronto on May 3rd. While this news doesn't come as a surprise, it was curiously quiet on the BIXI front after the program reached its minimum membership targets. Back in November, City of Toronto Manager of Pedestrian and Cycling Infrastructure Daniel Egan told us that the program was a go despite the need to work out some minor details, so I'll assume that the decision to wait until mid-March to make this announcement was designed to drum up more interest in BIXI as spring approaches.

The City sent out a super-boring press release today, so instead of summarizing that, here's what you need to know: BIXI will begin with 1,000 bikes, 80 stations and 1,500 docking points in an area bounded by Queen's Quay, Jarvis, Bloor and Spadina. That still leaves a huge portion of Toronto unserviced, but should the program do well, it can expand without the need to gain approval from City Council. At present, BIXI has 1,200 members, which is 200 above the minimum it needed to get rolling.

Oops. I guess that was kind of boring, too. Oh well, Hip Hip Hooray for BIXI!

For information about station locations and the subscriptions, check out their website.

Discussion

22 Comments

Kendra / March 15, 2011 at 12:56 pm
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I was so worried that Ford was trying to kill the program and that's why there was no announcement. And I bought a subscription. Now I can't wait for riding weather!
mike in parkdale / March 15, 2011 at 01:10 pm
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and this one is different from the yellow 'bike share' ones how exactly? It was really sad when that experiment ended. So really, how is this one different? Is it just that they have more startup cash and can buy new bikes?
Frenka replying to a comment from Kendra / March 15, 2011 at 01:37 pm
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I think this actually the ideal program for Ford. Since it's a private-public partnership, there's little reason to complain about it costing the city money. So it's unlikely you'll see the mayor complain about this. In fact, I'd be surprised if he doesn't use it to show just how pro-bike he is, even though he had little to do with its arrival.
Drew / March 15, 2011 at 01:45 pm
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Good maybe for tourists or unexpected bicycle need but really if you live outside that small downtown zone you still have to get there to use them. I work just near the zone but I'd have to take transit to go rent a bike which would defeat the point, or ride my existing bike to swap for a rental?
If I am already in that downtown zone I can pretty much walk anywhere it is so small an area so why pay for a bike? Unless you want to cycle out of that area and back into it again?
You can buy a cheap bike for less than $100 that will last for years so why pay to rent one?
When I saw this in Paris last year it looked cool because they had stations all over the city so people commuted on them to work along the river etc. but from a greater distance.
If you had them at commuter hubs like out to the West towards high park and bloor west and north up near Eglington and East near the Beaches etc. I bet lots of people would leave the house on a sunny day and say screw the TTC/Car ill grab a bixi to work today.
TheRealJohnson replying to a comment from mike in parkdale / March 15, 2011 at 01:46 pm
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This program will actually work, like it has been in Montreal for some time.
The bikes share program only had 150 bikes and required volunteers to sign bikes out. Bixi is fully automated, you just swipe a credit card (or membership fob).
hendrix replying to a comment from Drew / March 15, 2011 at 01:54 pm
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isn't the point that this is just a start? that's why it has a small range. In the future it will likely be expanded. But you have to start somewhere. I have no idea if Paris's version started all over the city or started in a small location.
Martin replying to a comment from Drew / March 15, 2011 at 01:58 pm
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This is a good point, and it's really the biggest problem with Bixi. The area it covers is hardly wide enough to bike across. Until the usage area expands to allow people to commute from their homes, it's going to only have limited success at best. I understand they wanted/needed to start out small, but maybe spreading the same amount of stations further out would have been a better move, as it would have enticed more commuters. Still, I'm happy to see it and I hope it does well so that it can expand.
Mona Chammas / March 15, 2011 at 02:02 pm
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Yes! Finally!
Don / March 15, 2011 at 02:44 pm
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Let's not be too negative. The media release was fine. It told the story and to the point.

And... Forget Ford. All that counts now is our support and enthusiasm for BIXI. Yeah and some fine weather.

BIXI is gonna work and it will be a lot of fun seeing it grow.

Onward spring and summer!

Ben / March 15, 2011 at 03:15 pm
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I'd like to see Ford riding one of those Bixi bikes.
j / March 15, 2011 at 03:36 pm
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I was ready to subscribe right away until I noticed that they only go as far West as Spadina. They need to at least make it to Trinity Bellwoods, if not Gladstone.
cyberdude / March 15, 2011 at 03:43 pm
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@mike in parkdale

If you had been to montreal in the past 2 years, you'd understand.
Mike W replying to a comment from Kendra / March 15, 2011 at 03:44 pm
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Where did you get the idea he was trying to kill the program?
cyberdude replying to a comment from Mike W / March 15, 2011 at 04:30 pm
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if I recall correct, he was one of 8 councillors to vote against the bike share program.

I'd like to know who the other 7 morans were who voted against it
T / March 15, 2011 at 05:08 pm
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Excellent news but once again Toronto only puts its toes in the water instead of diving in. For this to work and be appealing the area covered has to be much larger.
I never drive home to Montreal anymore during mild weather as I never use my car when there with the wide availability of bixi.It is literally on almost every corner and the bike path network is truly impressive.
mrgrieves / March 15, 2011 at 05:34 pm
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This is great news. I just hope that the city makes an effort to make the streets safe for the cyclists and pedestrians. I used to use the De Maisonneuve bike path in Montreal extensively and my biggest fear was not getting hit by a car but hitting a pedestrian who is not accustomed to looking out for bikes whizzing by. Hopefully this will mark the start of greater and safer bike use in TO.

My only complaint is that they should have make the bikes pink....
lowrez / March 15, 2011 at 05:38 pm
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Who took the photo?
Mike W replying to a comment from cyberdude / March 15, 2011 at 06:35 pm
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True, however that's a far cry from 'trying to kill the program'.
cyberdude / March 15, 2011 at 07:21 pm
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i wouldn't put it passed him. He's already killed a lot of city programs. so why would he stop at bixi?
Chino / March 15, 2011 at 10:21 pm
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If Ford gets on one I'll rent a car for the day and follow him around just so I could have him catch my door prize.

That would be saaaaweeet!
Annia replying to a comment from lowrez / March 15, 2011 at 11:04 pm
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I did!
mike in parkdale replying to a comment from cyberdude / March 17, 2011 at 02:34 pm
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@cyberdude

I was in France in the fall, and saw a similar bike share system setup. You could rent them by the hour, half day or full day and it looked about as efficient as getting on public transit (on their public transit, not ours)

I only saw a few tourists riding them, and only in the main tourist spots. If people in Montreal are actually riding them for a fair distance, then maybe it will work here too.

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