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Toronto Bike Rental System Launching in 2009!

Very big news coming from the Toronto Star this morning… that the City wants to emulate Paris’ Velib bikesharing system:

Toronto is getting the wheels in motion to roll out a high-tech rent-a-bike program next year, not unlike a wildly successful one in Paris, says the head of the city’s cycling committee.

“It will be announced sometime in the late fall and launched in the summer of 2009,” Councillor Adrian Heaps said.

Heaps said Toronto plans to emulate the best aspects of programs in other jurisdictions and would include automated stations, with swipe-card access, with a subscription that would give access to a uniform style of bicycle “that is tried and proven around the world.”

Details still to be worked out include where the bikes will be, how many there will be, and how much it will cost… so, pretty important stuff. It’s good to see them considering subway stops and “intermodal hubs” (places where different modes of transportation intersect) as logical places to put bikes.

The Paris program has about 20,000 bikes and 1,400 self-serve rental kiosks. For about $50/year, cyclists can swipe their credit card at a kiosk, unlock a bike, ride it across town and drop it off at another kiosk. The first 30 minutes are free with fees starting at $2 for each additional half hour.

[Velib photo by littlepois]

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