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BIXI bike-sharing officially launches in Toronto

Posted by Jennifer Tse / May 3, 2011

BIXI Bike sharing TorontoToronto's BIXI bike share program kicked off today at Yonge and Gould with a group of prominent members of the cycling community, city councillors, and sponsors TELUS and Desjardins rolling into the launch on their shiny new steeds. The program will provide Torontonians with year-round access to 1,000 bikes located at 80 stations in the downtown core.

The Public Bike System Company (PBSC) is the organization behind BIXI, the first large-scale bike sharing system in North America. Users borrow a bike from a BIXI station and return the bike to any station in the network. PBSC's bike sharing system has already been implemented in various cities, including Montreal, Washington, and London.

BIXI TorontoMemberships cost $40 for one month and $95 for a year, enabling users to loan any bike in the network using a BIXI-key. Otherwise, non-members can purchase a 24-hour pass for $5 and a 72-hour pass for $12. A 30-minute trip is allotted per rental, with additional fees incurred past that time. More information can be found on the BIXI Toronto website. Two smartphone apps, Spotcycle and Bixou, are also available for keeping track of station locations.

"BIXI is an important part of the city's efforts to encourage cycling," said Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong (Ward 34 Don Valley East). "We are confident that this public-private partnership will dramatically increase bicycle trips in the downtown core."

BIXI Toronto"Support for healthier cities is part of our DNA at TELUS," said Anne-Marie LaBerge (pictured), vice-president of consumer marketing communications at TELUS. "Initiatives like BIXI allow all of us to help safeguard the environment while staying active in our day to day lives--and beating the traffic!"

According to LaBerge, TELUS will also be donating $1 for every year membership purchased to the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

BIX Bike Share"For Desjardins, this is more than a mere sponsorship opportunity," said Tom Little, managing director of investment banking with Desjardins Securities. "We strongly believe in sustainable development and contributing to the wellbeing of our neighbours and communities."

The City of Toronto guaranteed $4.8 million for the project's startup capital, according to Gian-Carlo Crivello, director of business development for the PBSC. Currently, the program has 1,000 registered members, but reaching 7,000 to 8,000 users this year is the goal.

BIXI Bike Share Toronto

Discussion

97 Comments

zappa / May 3, 2011 at 04:50 pm
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sniff.....wow.....waste money smell...
arks / May 3, 2011 at 04:56 pm
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fuckin reds.
Neil Austen / May 3, 2011 at 05:01 pm
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That link to the toronto bixi website is for the montreal website.
Antony / May 3, 2011 at 05:17 pm
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Yes, telecom and insurance companies, the reddest of the red commies.

Nothing smells more like wasted money than idling gridlocked cars. Bixi provides another alternative for downtowners and GO/TTC riders.

Will be interesting to see if downtown condo dwellers or GO/TTC riders will be the larger user group...
rob ford / May 3, 2011 at 05:31 pm
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sorry i missed the ribbon cutting.
i was too busy being a fucking fat dick head.
Jerome / May 3, 2011 at 05:40 pm
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I love that Denzil Minnan-Wong was there. That man is a biking convert! Just two years ago he learned to ride for the first time!
Dan Demsky / May 3, 2011 at 05:45 pm
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So happy for this. Makes my life 10000000x times better and easier. Thank you whoever made this happen!!!
Robert / May 3, 2011 at 05:56 pm
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Toronto Population aprrox 5.7M
Bikes: 1,000
Stations: 80

Montreal Population aprrox 3.8M
Bikes: 5,000
Stations: 400

Montreal -FTW
tomms / May 3, 2011 at 06:20 pm
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some gems from the bixi website

" If severe weather endangers user safety, BIXI will close temporarily and no bikes can be rented. "

"please limit maximum load to 120 kg (265 lb) for the bike and 8 kg (18 lb) for the carrying rack."

"You must return your bike within the maximum 24-hour usage period. If not, the bike will be presumed stolen, and a penalty of $1,000 might be charged to your credit card."
daniel replying to a comment from Robert / May 3, 2011 at 06:39 pm
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Then go move to Montreal.
munzz / May 3, 2011 at 07:01 pm
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Should we thank Rob Ford for thisÉ
beks / May 3, 2011 at 07:28 pm
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Honestly, with their pricing I do not see how this can be an alternative to at least the TTC. They charge you per half hour after the first 30 min! The Toronto site does't give the additional charges, but the Montreal one does and if you ask me - they are ridiculous and it is certainly more expensive than taking the TTC unless you use the bike for a very very short distance. I will even be better off paying $8 and up an hour for Zipcar or similar.
... replying to a comment from beks / May 3, 2011 at 07:44 pm
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The whole Toronto area covered by BIXI stations does not even take half an hour to ride.

You can also use a bike again by waiting two minutes after you return one.
emmay replying to a comment from beks / May 3, 2011 at 07:45 pm
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true enough for torontonians, but i think bixi will also primarily attract tourists. it's a lot of fun to go to a different city and explore on two wheels. a better use of time and energy than city on a double decker bus with squaky mcgee spewing silly facts and figures.
Dave replying to a comment from beks / May 3, 2011 at 07:49 pm
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beks,

It's intended to be used like a taxi, not like a car rental. Grab a bike, cycle to your destination, return it there. Five minutes later, you can get a new one for your return trip (or to head to your next destination) and the 30 minute timer starts again. You get as many of these short trips as you want in a 24-hour period for just $5.

I used it in Montreal last weekend, and it works really well.
Mika / May 3, 2011 at 08:07 pm
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YEAAA BIXI!!

I am so excited to see Bixi in Toronto! I’ve used the system in Montreal a bunch of times, and it’s so convenient. At first I thought it was a stupid idea, because I didn’t understand the payment system. But after figuring out how it works (that you pay a small one-time fee of $5, and then you are not charged anymore-no matter how many more times you use it-as long as you bring the bike back within 30 minutes) it made much more sense.

Even though I have a bike, I think I’ll be using Bixi regularly, for those times when I don’t feel like biking somewhere, but I want to bike home (or vice versa, i.e. after a late night of drinking/dancing, or if it’s been raining).
Mika replying to a comment from Dave / May 3, 2011 at 08:10 pm
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Good comparison Dave, I never thought about it like that (Bixis as taxis).
me / May 3, 2011 at 08:36 pm
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Buying your own bike is still far more cost effective.
Benjamin / May 3, 2011 at 09:06 pm
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I love how people who dont even understand how the system works are coming on here to trash talk it.


simuls / May 3, 2011 at 09:14 pm
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Was just in Montreal on the weekend and while the idea is a little weird, the taxi comparison is good. Tons of people using them and once you get the hang of how it works, it's incredibly useful. Go for a lunch in Yorkville, grab a bike and head down to a movie at Rainbow, then grab another and get dinner in Kensington, then grab another and watch the sun set at the waterfront - easily only 20 min rides between each and all while burning calories and never worrying about the slow ttc, parking, or worrying about your bike being stolen. Heaven. Now if they just expand the area west!
City / May 3, 2011 at 09:19 pm
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If the city can make a profit off this, then by all means install these all over the city. But if the city is loosing money then the program needs to be review to see how it can be profitable.
DC replying to a comment from City / May 3, 2011 at 10:48 pm
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See Benjamin's comment:

If you have no idea how this works, then please don't comment.
The city has only provided assurances on the $4.8M loan. It has forked out zero money for this (other than a few staff hours). This is fully funded from private businesses and through user fees.

It IS profitable for the Montreal Parking Authority, which conceived of and runs Bixi all over the world. Too bad this great idea never came to Toronto first.
grrlgab / May 3, 2011 at 11:03 pm
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Bixi has been around for a while, existing happily in several major cities and different countries! I can't believe the amount of negative comments here that come from people who clearly don't understand how the system works.


The system is perfect for Torontonians who want to run errands, visit friends, go to work, get a bite to eat, get some exercise etc etc without worrying about having their bike stolen, waiting for a delayed bus, streetcar or subway, spending money on gas, spending a lot on a cab etc etc. And because the time limit is essentially 30 minutes, you are almost guaranteed that a bike will always be available for you.

If you don't like it, then don't use it. What's there to hate?
grrlgab replying to a comment from me / May 3, 2011 at 11:08 pm
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That depends ... bike parking in our condo (can't take bikes into the elevators or store them on the balcony -- common for many condos and apts) is $75/ year. Plus there is always the threat of it being stolen when it's parked, well, anywhere in the city -- which has happened to me, twice.
grrlgab replying to a comment from Mika / May 3, 2011 at 11:10 pm
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That's a great idea .. using it for late nights when you don't want to take the Vomit Comet
Noteveryone replying to a comment from DC / May 3, 2011 at 11:29 pm
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Not everyone are bike riding pinko's, actually only a very few are. But if the city has to pay for staff hours out of its own pocket, then shut it down. plain and simple. The city doesn't have the extra money for these pinko ideas. We got better things to spend it on.
gbenji / May 4, 2011 at 12:02 am
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I wouldn't be too concerned about all the negative comments, these people are without a doubt ignorant, suburban and fat as ford.
Marky / May 4, 2011 at 12:52 am
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According to the BIXI website: "The name BIXI is a contraction of the words BIke and taXI."
Cindy / May 4, 2011 at 06:58 am
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As a Torontonian who's been living in Milan, I've seen this system all throughout Europe - in Milan as well as in Nice, Barcelona, Rome, Amsterdam, Paris so far (that I can remember). And yes, it works just like how Dave was explaining. No one I've talked to ever needs more than that 30 min and it's pretty standard everywhere I've gone in Europe (I've used the system in Nice & Milan, but I have talked to friends who've used the other systems).
shaddap replying to a comment from Cindy / May 4, 2011 at 07:45 am
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well aren't you an entitled little brat? don't you know that here in north america we have SUVs to get to Walmart with? This isnt Milan you know.
Walker / May 4, 2011 at 07:54 am
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The coverage needs to be larger ... the most distant points are only about 45 minutes apart *walking* ... don't see why I'd need the bike.
gadfly replying to a comment from gbenji / May 4, 2011 at 07:57 am
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.. and your comment is just so enlightened and productive? It's amazing how every single one of these (tired) threads about cycling turns immediately into an 'us versus them' attack thread. That alone should tell you how polarizing these concepts are.
Personally, I don't give a sh$t about BIXI, however, I do worry about the nature of people who feel entitled and don't want to commit to anything. It's all part of the 'me-me-me' culture that is so pervasive today. If you want a bike, then buy one and use it. If you want to a car, then buy one, don't waste your money on those time share rentals. It's all about immediate gratification and 'choices,' isn't it?
Will this appeal to tourists? What tourist in their right mind would want to navigate our gawdawful streets on a bicycle? The Martin-Goodman trail, perhaps, but Bloor St. or Dundas? With all the traffic and nutty drivers?
The bicycle lobby just doesn't get it: a bunch of people with too much time on their hands, without any real jobs (what time was the kick-off?), forcing their version of socialism down everyone else's throats, pulling BS statistics out of their asses to support their cause (my favorite: a bicycle on the road means one less car - hiliarious, like these free-loaders would drive to work. Heck, they won't even pay for a MetroPass!) and generally coming up with one brainiac idea after another to really screw up traffic and transportation for the real folks of this city.
Well, anyway, in a couple years when this Bixi thing blows over, perhaps the city can get back to the real problems it is facing.
smackraman / May 4, 2011 at 08:37 am
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To Gadfly,
What????? Polarizing concepts, socialists, entitlement. Did you lose your train of thought after the first paragraph.
It's a business venture that has met with success in other large cities, not a socialist revolution. Take a pill.
NoAds / May 4, 2011 at 08:51 am
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I am all for Bixi but did they have to ruin the look of the bikes by plastering them with advertising. That's incredibly tacky.
DC / May 4, 2011 at 08:53 am
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@gadfly @Noteveryone

basically you've solved it:

bicycles are socialism
cars are capitalism
cyclists are socialists
drivers are capitalists

My research would suggest the contrary. Other than gas to power your car (which is unfortunate), do you pay user-fees for each use of the car? (No....there are socialized payments for up-keep and expansion from the general tax coffers...yes there are some payments for your registration, but most of this goes to administration!). Sounds like socialism to me! You don't even bear the cost of the fuel to human health or the environment.

Well...just so happens that cycling doesn't require a fuel (unless you count the food you need to power it yourself...yes include that!), and BIXI DOES use user-fees for each use of the bike? Sounds like capitalism to me!!
Daryl / May 4, 2011 at 09:14 am
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Why does Toronto's Bixi have the company's most expensive rates?

Equating all the other cities into Canadian Dollars:
Toronto = 40 month/95 year
Montreal = 28 month/73 year
London = 70.65 year
Washington = 23.75 month/71.25 year
Minneapolis = 28.50 month/38 year
Melbourne = 51.50 year

Even within Canada: a yearly subscription is 20% more expensive in Toronto than Montreal. The monthly one is 40% more expensive in Toronto than Montreal!
Sean replying to a comment from NoAds / May 4, 2011 at 09:15 am
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Due to the fact that people were not willing to give them money for free, I am going to have to go with yes.
fahrrad / May 4, 2011 at 09:24 am
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leave it up to toronto to hate on a great idea. it's astonishing how far behind the attitude of this city is behind other world class cities. bike programs like this have been amazingly effective in so many cities i have visited.
fahrrad replying to a comment from rob ford / May 4, 2011 at 09:26 am
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haha yes!
NoAds replying to a comment from Sean / May 4, 2011 at 09:28 am
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The ads could have just been posted at the station, they didn't have to cover the bikes in that crap. It's a little bit much and an eyesore. The bikes in Montreal aren't used as peddling billboards.
Sean replying to a comment from NoAds / May 4, 2011 at 09:32 am
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Actually, the BIXI bikes in Montreal now have advertising: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/story/2011/04/15/bixi-season-starts-montreal.html
Sean replying to a comment from Daryl / May 4, 2011 at 09:35 am
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Correct me if I am wrong but, isn't one of the reasons for the higher fee the fact that BIXI bikes here will be available year-round while the ones in Montreal are not?
iSkyscraper / May 4, 2011 at 09:36 am
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I was going to comment on the rates also but Daryl beat me to it. Once again Toronto is a rip-off on a transportation list. I guess Bixi figured that if Torontonians put up with the most expensive single-zone transit system on the continent ($121 vs, say, $72 in Montreal) then they will gladly pay more for the same service that other cities get with Bixi. It's all quite sad.

Perhaps if Toronto had walked the walk and been more progressive in the first place it would have had Bixi earlier and a crack at some lower rates. Now, with the system well established in cities Toronto normally looks down upon (DC, Minneapolis) we have to put up with paying retail instead of early-insider.
NoAds replying to a comment from Sean / May 4, 2011 at 09:56 am
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That's really unfortunate. They've had the program for a few years without displaying advertising on the bikes. Disappointing but I guess it was bound to happen.
the lemur replying to a comment from gadfly / May 4, 2011 at 10:04 am
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<i>I do worry about the nature of people who feel entitled and don't want to commit to anything. It's all part of the 'me-me-me' culture that is so pervasive today. If you want a bike, then buy one and use it. If you want to a car, then buy one, don't waste your money on those time share rentals</i>

Yeah, totally. What's with people not buying their own taxis and subway trains too? And when you go on vacation somewhere, buy a car! Plus you forgot to mention people who don't own property because they might change job locations, as you are fond of pointing out.

<i>Will this appeal to tourists? What tourist in their right mind would want to navigate our gawdawful streets on a bicycle? The Martin-Goodman trail, perhaps, but Bloor St. or Dundas? With all the traffic and nutty drivers?</i>

Right, because those are the only choices. They couldn't possibly ride on Harbord, St George or any of the minor streets. And a cycling map of the city - who ever heard of such a thing?

And of course most users wouldn't be tourists, oh no.

<i>The bicycle lobby just doesn't get it: a bunch of people with too much time on their hands, without any real jobs</i>

Yeah, like a conservative city councillor.

<i>(what time was the kick-off?)</i>

Seriously, what's with all the daytime product launches?

<i>forcing their version of socialism down everyone else's throats</i>

I guess I missed the part about it being mandatory. And the part about users having to pay for it is totally not capitalist.

<i>pulling BS statistics out of their asses to support their cause (my favorite: a bicycle on the road means one less car - hiliarious, like these free-loaders would drive to work</i>

That's funny, I must have totally imagined the car I left at home this morning when I left for work.

<i>Heck, they won't even pay for a MetroPass!)</i>

Well, everyone knows transit is just a freeloading time-share way of being a parasite on transit infrastructure, so that makes sense.
Ben / May 4, 2011 at 10:10 am
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Oh Gadfly....you must lead a really angry life. I basically never read anything enlightening or positive in your posts. I am sure you will come back on and reply about how I dont know you, and that you are a very cheerful person in reality, but I find that hard to believe. Your posts reek of somebody who is innately bitter. About what, I dont know. I cant psychoanalyze you, but I can sense the acidity in your personality.

You are intelligent, no doubt about that. However, you also seem plain ignorant. A contrarian at heart, you argue certain issues with no foundation in reality, just a blind will to disagree. You appear to be the type of person who will buy fruit from the supermarket with coupons and then try to return it for full price when they grow old.

Why do you really care that a public-private partnership is try to promote a healthy, cheap, sustainable form of transportation?

You are right about one thing, some stuff is about instant gratification, such as telling you off in this post. Yes, that was satisfying.
dwyp replying to a comment from iSkyscraper / May 4, 2011 at 10:13 am
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The reason why it's more expensive is because Toronto's Bixi doesn't have government support nor nearly the same amount of corporate sponsorship as Montreal. It's also going to run all year according to their plans.

Toronto doesn't walk the walk and it's not very progressive as you can tell from so many of these comments. That's why we pay a bit more for membership. But it's still cheaper than a month of Metropass for the entire year, so stop being a hater and either get on board or shut up!
DC / May 4, 2011 at 10:16 am
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lemur 10 gadfly -100000
iSkyscraper replying to a comment from dwyp / May 4, 2011 at 10:40 am
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Jeez, who's the hater now? Look, I love the TTC. I love Bixi. I love Toronto. I just don't like the fact that some things are too costly or too anemic relative to peer cities that Toronto once led. Since I moved to NYC in 2000 my eyes have been opened as to costs, parks, services, streetscapes and other urban experiences outside the Toronto bubble and in my admittedly sometimes jaded comments I am trying to poke the local ostriches a bit to get their heads out of the sand and fight for a better city. That includes noting that the TTC is the most expensive, Bixi is the most expensive, bike lanes are absent, etc. If people don't realize this they won't try and change the underlying structure that causes such problems (i.e. Rob Ford, provincial and federal politicians that hate cities, etc.)

I truly hope Bixi succeeds, soon matches the number of bikes and stations in Montreal, and far surpasses what US cities can offer. Charts like this don't lie (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/6/64/Revised_petrol_use_urban_density.JPG), and Toronto should try to make the most of its unique ability to combine the best of US and Euro cities. Bixi is a real shot at that, if they price it right and create separated bike lanes.
graffiti / May 4, 2011 at 10:50 am
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I can't wait to tag these, some nice new canvass.
dwyp replying to a comment from iSkyscraper / May 4, 2011 at 10:52 am
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Look, everybody has to start somewhere. Montreal's Bixi station network didn't start out as big as it is now. Neither will Toronto's.

Also, you never took into account that a year's worth of Bixi in Toronto is actually more months than a year's worth of Bixi in Montreal. The value is there if you compare it apples to apples - $78 for 8 months is $9.75 a month; $95 for 12 months is $7.92 a month.

Also, Bixi doesn't create bike lanes. Don't blame them for the city's infrastructure!
dwyp replying to a comment from iSkyscraper / May 4, 2011 at 11:14 am
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Since my first reply seems to have disappeared to blogto neverneverland, here it is again..

- Toronto's Bixi is not a "rip-off". $78 for 8 months in Montreal is $9.75 a month; while $95 for 12 months in Toronto is $7.92 a month.
- Montreal's Bixi also started with a smaller area and then expanded during that same summer. There wasn't a lightning strike and suddenly there was Bixi everywhere. They had problems with bikes and stations that couldn't hold up to the vandalism, etc. They're also run by Stationnement de Montréal.
- Bixi doesn't create bike lanes. They're a bike share company, not the City of Toronto.
- Last but not least, I have no idea where the NYC defense comes in because they're not planning to launch anything until 2012.
Daryl replying to a comment from dwyp / May 4, 2011 at 11:27 am
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Montreal is the only one who shuts down over the winter months. Besides, ongoing operating costs are covered by sponsors and subscriptions. The duration in which the service operates shouldn't affect its price.

I really want to love this service, but my gut feeling told me it cost too much. Clearly, comparing it to other installations, it does cost too much.

If government funding is the issue, I wish they'd be forthcoming about it so I can add another paragraph to my lefty-pinko letter to the mayor.
dwyp replying to a comment from Daryl / May 4, 2011 at 11:43 am
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RE: "Montreal is the only one who shuts down over the winter months."

Minneapolis too.

RE: "Clearly, comparing it to other installations, it does cost too much."

Unless another service launches in Toronto, there's no direct comparison. Toronto is not Minneapolis which isn't Montreal which isn't London which isn't Washington DC which isn't Melbourne.
iSkyscraper replying to a comment from dwyp / May 4, 2011 at 11:50 am
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I'm mixing private Bixi and public bike initiatives in my finger wagging, yes, but don't even get me started on NYC vs Toronto when it comes to bikes. When I moved here in 2000, Toronto had the Martin Goodman trail and New York had nothing but a death wish for cyclists. It was a thrill ride just to venture onto Manhattan streets and I would return home feeling like Mel Gibson in the Thunderdome. In 2011, New York has amazing bike infrastructure -- I could take you on a tour that would reduce you to tears -- and Toronto has... the Martin Goodman trail. Bike sharing has not started here yet, it is true, but overall New York is doing great things. Bixi in T.O. and NYC will be an interesting test. Does the infrastructure have to come first to make bike sharing work, or does the bike sharing have to come first to get the infrastructure built? One can only hope for the best in both cases.
Enrico Pallazzo / May 4, 2011 at 12:06 pm
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If you're in a condo and don't own your own locker, chances are the annual rental fee for a bike locker is more than an annual BIXI membership. My building wants $240.00 a year, so the BIXI to me is quite a bargain (not to mention the fact they put an installation right outside my door!).

Can someone who has used the service tell me this though, how diligent are they in shuffling the bikes around so A) you don't arrive at a station that's full and have nowhere to but the bike, or B) not have any bikes available at all?
Sean replying to a comment from Enrico Pallazzo / May 4, 2011 at 12:34 pm
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I am not sure how diligent they are. I do know however, that if you get to a station and it is full you can swipe your card to get an additional 15 minutes in order to find a station with empty spaces.
Antony replying to a comment from Walker / May 4, 2011 at 12:36 pm
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"the most distant points are only about 45 minutes apart *walking*"

And on a bike, they're probably about 15 minutes apart. How much do you get paid per hour? I make about $30/h, so the 30 minutes I saved would pay $15, subtract $5 for BIXI, and I make a $10 profit.

Good Capitalist economics for you.

And gadfly... my god man, please, tell me what you think about Santa Claus, that obese, alcoholic socialist sponging off our health care system.
Antony replying to a comment from Walker / May 4, 2011 at 12:39 pm
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Oh, and Enrico, I can only speak for Montreal, but they're pretty good about driving a flat-bed truck full of bikes around the city, picking up the broken for maintenance, and distributing bikes between stations.

If you arrive at a station that's full, you can use your ticket to get 15 minutes extra time to drop off at another nearby station (or wait for someone to come by and take a bike).
Enrico Pallazzo / May 4, 2011 at 01:16 pm
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Good to know, thank you both for your responses.
Flex50Five replying to a comment from beks / May 4, 2011 at 01:26 pm
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95 a year. You are indeed a cheap bastard....
rek / May 4, 2011 at 02:00 pm
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"Support for healthier cities is part of our DNA at TELUS,"

Anne-Marie, ff your bosses had just forked over sponsorship dollars for a baby-mincing factory, you'd say baby mincemeat was in your DNA.

"Initiatives like BIXI allow all of us to help safeguard the environment while—"

Turning a profit? Raising brand awareness? Beating Fido to the punch?

Marketing: the art of removing the literal meaning from words and replacing it with fuzzy warm feelings that serve the bottom line.
Flaming Pant / May 4, 2011 at 02:27 pm
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Gadfly complaining again, my god isn't he smart!
Joer / May 4, 2011 at 07:45 pm
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Ahh man.. The ghost of David Miller is still haunting us.
mona / May 4, 2011 at 10:01 pm
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Get out of the Ryerson campus!
Arex replying to a comment from mona / May 4, 2011 at 10:33 pm
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Why? I'd rather have cyclists than motorists on campus. At least bikes don't try to take up the entire street.
markus / May 4, 2011 at 11:38 pm
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What's with the super concentration downtown?
For anyone outside the downtown core, it's pointless.

Toronto is about great neighbourhoods like the beaches, the Danforth, Little Italy, Ronscesvales, etc...
So you if you want to burn less emissions, just live downtown because it's such a pleasant place to spend a day (sarcasm).
Antony replying to a comment from markus / May 4, 2011 at 11:46 pm
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Well markus, it seems that Torontonians didn't think BIXI would be worth it, so City Council did the least they could, didn't give BIXI a dime, and almost cancelled the deal.

So the start-up network is smaller than in any city BIXI has launched in yet.

The Montreal BIXI network has expanded three times already. Just use it and you will have your Roncy BIXI stations.
Kieran / May 4, 2011 at 11:46 pm
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Roads are socialism. Let's not have any roads. You can drive your cars on grass.

Idiots.
mash / May 5, 2011 at 02:16 am
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bixi parts purfect for the crackheads. I just saw one crackhead trying to figure out what he could take from bixi on Granby street south of Yonge and college. I hope company has some kind of security cameras around these bixis stations
gadfly replying to a comment from Ben / May 5, 2011 at 07:46 am
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As usual, if certain people cannot support their own agenda |(and stay on topic), they attack the messenger that they don't agree with.
Ben, thanks for your concern, but do not worry about my life. If I appear to be one-issue oriented, it's because in my opinion (and that is all it is, an opinion) the biggest challenge confronting Toronto is transportation. I don't have the time or interest to post remarks in every single thread, so I will save the 'gee, shucks' posts about the pretty photos, etc. on blogto to those with more time on their hands.
You may love all things bicycle and think they are the transit of the future, but I do not. Having bicycled to work for a few months, from Atlantic/King to College/Bay back in the early '80s, all I can say from my experience as a kid was that anyone who willingly does this is an idiot. Worse, because they cause traffic to squeeze around them (or the city gives over desperately needed lane space to a bicycle lane), they are actually CAUSING more congestion. Any idiot can see that. Where these BS stats come from, claiming that a bicycle on the road takes a car off the road is just plain silly. Not even worthy of Monty Pythonesque satire.
Ever since my first full time job as an auto parts driver back in 1980, I have watched this city traffic get worse and worse. One hare-brained idea after another has been tried, but the elephant in the room has always been the total lack of planning in this city prior to about 1940 that is haunting us now.
BIXI can rot for all I care. Like those silly rickshaws that crop up downtown in the summer, Bixi will just be one more nail in the coffin of life in the city.
I can tell from most of the comments on blogto that the posters are either younger than their shoe size, have never ventured beyond St. Clair in their lives, or clearly have not lived in the city for more than a decade or so. I guess we should forgive them for their ignorance, for they know not what they type.
rek replying to a comment from gadfly / May 5, 2011 at 09:45 am
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"BIXI can rot for all I care. Like those silly rickshaws that crop up downtown in the summer, Bixi will just be one more nail in the coffin of life in the city."

What a load. If anything's going to kill life in this city it's Rob Ford and his ilk giving priority to cars and out-of-town drivers over people and residents. Look at the city south of the rail line and you'll see the lifeless existence of a car-focused city.

That said, I don't see what use any Toronto resident would have for Bixi. Buy a bike of your own and you can ride it whenever you want without worrying about being charged or having to return it by a set time.
the lemur / May 5, 2011 at 01:02 pm
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<i>Worse, because they cause traffic to squeeze around them (or the city gives over desperately needed lane space to a bicycle lane), they are actually CAUSING more congestion</i>

Uh, what? Congestion's there when there are no bikes or bike lanes around; it's the bikes that squeeze around the immobile cars.

Stop simpering and harden up. You're in gridlock, it's your own fault.
ttraveller replying to a comment from iSkyscraper / May 5, 2011 at 03:31 pm
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You ask what should come first? Bike sharing or infrastructure? Look at it another way. GTA power has been held for decades by downtown, navelgazers who's core ideology is "I'm awesome and anyone not exactly like me, simply doesn't deserve infrastructure." Thus the war on cars. The rotting streets. The complete inability to co-operate with other government agencies to get projects done on time/budget (St. Clair, Ronces, $100 million, 30 year waterfront plan that got us a beach and subsidized office building(Corus), public housing oligarchs, and on and on. First change the people in power. Then you have a fighting chance to build the GTA for all people including downtown bikers of which I am one. Municipal. Done. Federal done. So far so good.
gadfly replying to a comment from the lemur / May 6, 2011 at 07:46 am
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Oh, PUHLEASE, I can tell when either a streetcar, a bunch of cyclists, or a parked delivery van is up ahead on Richmond in the morning, because it grinds to a halt. The cylcists along Richmond and Adelaide are a particular type of crazy. The way cars change lanes, buses dart out of nowhere and construction cones crop up like mushrooms, nobody in their right mind would be on these streets, but some do.
Those with their hands in the sand who keep hoping the automobile will go away should ask theirself why Toronto has worse traffic than L.A., which is more than double the size of us. That should be a cause for concern, not rubbing one's hands together and greedily eyeing the next street to f$ck up with another bicycle lane..............
Trucks and cars carry the wealth of this Province through its biggest city, not bicycles. Another ugly fact.
KL replying to a comment from gadfly / May 6, 2011 at 09:07 am
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That's fine and all, but can you explain why the DVP is backed up around 5PM? Is it the fault of the cyclist or the fault of condo-dweller who drives everywhere and the 905 contingency?

the lemur replying to a comment from gadfly / May 6, 2011 at 09:20 am
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Funny. I rarely ride on Richmond or Adelaide but when I do the first thing that strikes me is how crazy fast the car traffic is and I can't wait to get off it. Choosing alternative routes is the key to having a non-frustrating commute, no matter how you're travelling. The fact that parking is permitted on those streets is particularly frustrating. So I guess we're sort of agreed on that point.

On the other hand some streets with bike lanes work in that they keep cyclists and drivers out of each other's way, but I guess there will never be enough lanes to satisfy some drivers.

The way cars change lanes is, I would guess, something that drivers should take responsibility. I have never seen a bus 'dart' anywhere - they're too slow and predictable for that, although I suppose if you don't yield for them as you're legally required to they can have a certain 'whoa, he came out of nowhere' quality to them. Construction cones are a problem for everyone.

<i>Those with their hands in the sand who keep hoping the automobile will go away should ask theirself</i> [sic] <i>why Toronto has worse traffic than L.A.<;/i>

Can you provide a citation for that? Could it be because average commuting distances are different in both cities and that traffic into Toronto is focused on entering a smaller area?

<i>Trucks and cars carry the wealth of this Province through its biggest city, not bicycles. Another ugly fact</i>

Yeah, so let's get rid of those goddamn freeloading pedestrians walking everywhere on their precious sidewalks, impeding the flow of traffic at every corner, shall we? Because it's all about the monetary value, isn't it? Nothing else.
canmark / May 6, 2011 at 11:17 am
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I'm starting to see the BIXI bike racks now (it's amazing how they popped up so fast) and saw a young man riding a BIXI bike down the sidewalk on Yonge St. this morning around 7:30 am--my first BIXI user sighting! I must say I'm tempted to sign up for BIXI. I live in the 'burbs but work in the Financial District, so the BIXI would be useful in getting around downtown after work (or even in the morning when I stop off at the Metro Y). I'm wary of the rush hour traffic, though, the prospect of riding at night and not having a helmet. But as the weather gets warmer I just may give it a try.
... / May 7, 2011 at 05:26 pm
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Just saw a couple taking a leisurely ride on two BIXI bikes. I live a couple kilometres west of the nearest BIXI station and they were riding west. They are going to be in for quite the shock when they finally return those bikes and realize how much they owe.
the lemur replying to a comment from ... / May 7, 2011 at 06:53 pm
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Depends how far west they go before turning back, doesn't it? I'd be watching the time to estimate the halfway point, but it might help if the bikes had trip meters on them, I guess.
John Spragge replying to a comment from gadfly / May 8, 2011 at 05:56 am
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In my youth, I rode a bicycle for a considerably longer commute than five kilometers, and thoroughly enjoyed it. Almost forty years later, I still ride in the city with great pleasure. But my subjective feelings about cycling matter less than the objective facts: according to an overwhelming consensus of doctors and medical researchers, inactive lifestyles lead to a list of debilitating and life-shortening illnesses similar to those caused by smoking. Cycling for transportation clearly provides an effective, economical and environmentally positive counter to this huge problem.

Like many cyclists, I do have the option to drive; in fact, I own two cars, one of which loaned to a church project. So yes, when we choose to cycle we do often take a car off the road. We also take tonnes of carbon dioxide and fly ash out of the air.
software discounter / May 10, 2011 at 07:59 am
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Good one. Give me more, more more
Michael replying to a comment from John Spragge / May 10, 2011 at 01:06 pm
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I'll second as someone who could be driving to work (free parking here), but I leave my car at home and take my bike. Gadfly, next time you are stuck in traffic, you can thank us for making you at least two cars closer to your destination.
Raj / May 10, 2011 at 05:09 pm
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Just tried out Bixi in Montreal this past weekend, where it seems to be amazingly popular. Can't wait to try it out here.

Gotta say though, the pricing is a bit confusing. I thought it was a flat $5 for 24 hours, kicking in after the first 30 minutes. When I realized I was charged a lot more, I thought it was just me who's not that smart... but I just heard someone on CBC Radio describe the pricing the same way!
dd / May 15, 2011 at 03:07 pm
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What's with the advertisements on the Bixi bikes? I was very excited to have Bixi in Toronto, but there's no way I'm riding around the city with a Telus advertisement on my bike. Sorry, Bixi, you'd have to pay me to do that.
bixi / May 15, 2011 at 04:00 pm
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I got a tickets for riding a bixi the wrong way on Augusta in Kensington.

How is the city going to encourage cycling if cops are handing out such frivolous tickets to cyclists?

Any advice on how to fight it?
the lemur replying to a comment from dd / May 15, 2011 at 05:39 pm
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Sponsorship helps keep the prices down. Some of the bikes don't even have ads.
the lemur replying to a comment from bixi / May 15, 2011 at 05:41 pm
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Don't bother. Going the wrong way on any vehicle covered by the Highway Traffic Act is illegal, unless specifically allowed by something like a contraflow bike lane. Cycling would be a lot more popular if everyone rode legally, sanely and predictably and didn't add fuel to the 'those crazy cyclists' fire stoked by certain portions of the driving population.
bixi / May 15, 2011 at 06:56 pm
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yeah, i guess that's the problem, no distinction is made between autos and bicycles. although i'm sure the intent of the law was not to restrict 2 way bicycle traffic.
Alogon replying to a comment from DC / May 15, 2011 at 08:45 pm
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Guess the recent bailout of BIXI in Montreal makes your statement of profitability false. BIXI runs at a deficit in Montreal.
the lemur replying to a comment from Alogon / May 15, 2011 at 10:41 pm
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So everything that is true of the system that has operated in Montreal since 2008 for eight months of the year with more bikes and stations must automatically be true of the system intended to operate year-round here with fewer bikes and stations since ... not even two weeks ago? I think the comparison is a little off, at least for the moment.
ultraviolet / June 2, 2011 at 02:45 pm
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thought it was a good idea $5/per day rental. Little did I know. my friend and I did not read the fine print and thought its not bad $5 per day. Now my visa charge me $20 for rental of about 4 hours. Holly F@$#$%%^% cost as much as a car rental. not worth it and will never rent it again. Looking to buy my own bike
Ess / June 4, 2011 at 06:27 pm
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Bixi is a total RIPOFF if not already a SCAM

why advertise $5 for 24hrs if that is a total lie ???

i dont remember seeing any fine print at the station i rented the bikes from

it clearly says $5 for 24hrs, now they charged me over 40 dollars for renting 2 bikes.. apparently now that i looked online, I was supposed to return the bike to a station every 30 minutes???

That's ridiculous -- NEVER using it again, and I've warned everyone I know of the same thing..!



Jason replying to a comment from Ess / June 4, 2011 at 09:25 pm
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The point of BIXI is to use it to quickly go from one point to another downtown. The reason they want you to park your BIXI at one of their stations every 30 minutes is to ensure availability and reduce the chance of theft. If you could just keep it for 24 hours for $5 you (and others) would probably just lean it against a post while you go shopping putting the bike at risk.

If you want a bike to rent and use all day without locking it up, you can rent them for about $50 from a few places in Toronto.

The fine print is there. If you didn't read it, then it's your own fault. I read it.
Tom / June 11, 2011 at 08:10 pm
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Toronto, Can cost $5.00/day- or $12.00/3 days - 1/2 HOUR Free


Melbourn, Aus cost $2.50/Day or $8.00/Wk - 1/2 HOUR Free

London, England cost £1 day- or £5.00/Wk - 1/2 HOUR Free

Bangkok, Thai -cost free - but sometimes they ask for 100 baht/ day from tourist

Vienna, Austria cost 0 day- - FIRST 1 HOUR Free

Way to expensive for me in TORONTO. I take my own bike, with additional $5 for TTC to come downtown, it does not make sense to me. This will not stop to many people to leave the car home.
Jeff Hand / July 27, 2011 at 11:59 am
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I am a tourist in Toronto. I saw that I could rent a bicycle for 24 hours for $5.00, and that if I exceeded 24 hours, I would have a 15 minute grace period and that fees were established for any excess time. So I went to the Toronto Islands and had a grand time, relaxed and enjoying myself. I did not find a convenient bike rack to return the bike until nighttime, and was shocked when my receipt printed that my charge was $123,74. They are very misleading when they post that the bike rental is $5 for a 24-hour period. I tried reading something simple in English to clarify their charges when I rented the bike, but I had to try to interpret what their charges were, and I wanted to rent it quickly so I would make the next fairy to the islands, and I did not interpret it correctly. Then today, when I tried to go to their website to claim the charges, their website was down. I have had a stinky experience with this company. I will have to call them. This is not how I expect to spend a vacation in Toronto. YEEETTTTCCCCHHH.
sezme replying to a comment from Jeff Hand / October 5, 2011 at 12:31 pm
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The problem with BIXI as is obvious from this comments thread is that the rules are not clear. I did get some clarity from reading the comments here, but they really ought to change the wording on their website and rental kiosks so that people like Jeff don't get surprise bills, and people like me won't be too scared to rent one thinking I only got 30 minutes of access in a 24 hour period.

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