Courtesy of toronto.bixi.com
BIXI Toronto LeadToronto is going BIXI.
By Aretha Munro
The public bike sharing system, known as BIXI, will be launching in Toronto, May 3, 2011. With the help of sponsors,Telus and Desjardins, the system will feature 80 stations throughout downtown Toronto with a total of 1000 bikes available for rent and 1,500 docking spaces. Any bike can be picked up at any station and dropped off at any other station - allowing for quick trips around downtown Toronto. The system will be available all year round and the station map web page will be optimized for those with mobile devices.
According to BIXI Toronto's website, the subscription fee is 95$ CAD plus taxes for one year. As the system was created for short trips, BIXI Toronto explains: "usage fees encourage frequent utilization for short periods of time. First, you have to subscribe or acquire a 24 or 72-hour access to use the service. Take out a bike as many times as you want for 30 minutes or less with no additional fees; usage fees for longer trips apply." The hope is that residents and tourists can see the sights, get some exercise and save some money.
The city of Toronto will be joining other BIXI bike sharing cities, such as London, UK, Melbourne, AUS, Minneapolis, MN, Washington, DC, Arlington, VA and Montreal, QC in the quest to promote active means of transportation.
Coincidentally, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities has recently recognized the City of Toronto’s Walking Strategy with an award for excellence, leadership and innovation in the transportation category. In addition, the 2011 Complete Streets Forum was just held at the University of Toronto Hart House, Great Hall, April 28-29, where over 200 transportation experts, practitioners, stakeholders from governments, businesses and non-profits from across the region and around the world met to discuss how to make Toronto’s streets safer and more inviting for people of all ages, abilities and choice of transportation. Nancy Smith Lea, the Director of Toronto Coalition for Active Transportation explains, “In a city as diverse as Toronto, our streets are used by children, seniors, families, and people with disabilities. More often than not, people get around by some combination of transit, walking, driving or biking."
It is perfect timing to see if BIXI Toronto's public bike sharing system designed for residents and tourists will be used by Torontonians and its visitors. Will they hit the road on two wheels? We will find out as the program is introduced in May.
Visit the BIXI Toronto website toronto.bixi.com