BIXI to change name, transferred to Parking Authority
Toronto's struggling bike share system is going to become part of the Toronto Parking Authority, starting in Spring 2014.
Public works chair Denzil Minnan-Wong confirmed the city-run TPA will buy the bikes, bike stations, and other infrastructure off the Montreal-based Public Bike Share Company using money from the cancellation several high-tech public toilets.
The current name will also likely disappear in the transition. "We don't mention BIXI anymore - it's the Public Bike Share System until some sponsor comes up with a very large cheque that we can use and apply to the program to keep it sustainable."
Alta Bicycle Share, the company that runs the New York City and Melbourne systems, is one name being tossed around as a potential partner.
There are currently 4,000 active BIXI members. Since 2010, cyclists have taken 1.8 million trips. The system has struggled to remain financially viable due to a lack of stations outside the core.
Minnan-Wong said he doesn't expect the bike share scheme to get much bigger in the immediate future and talked only about "modest" growth.
"We shouldn't just jump to the conclusion that expansion is necessary," he said. "[BIXI] was the cool thing that all the new cities had so we had to have one and we made some financial mistakes."
"I hope we don't make that mistake again by going holus-bolus into a general expansion, it has to be smart expansion."
Are you pleased the city has found a way to keep BIXI going?
Chris Bateman is a staff writer at blogTO. Follow him on Twitter at @chrisbateman.
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