Learn more about BikingToronto and Singer Kwinter

Learn More About Bixi Toronto

Bixi Toronto

Back in May we told you about City Council approving BikeSharing for Toronto… importing the wildly successful Bixi System from Montreal with a planned launch date of Spring 2011:

The program is now scheduled to start in 2011 with 1,000 bikes, and will be run by the same people who run BIXI in Montreal.

City Council put some conditions on the approval though… Bixi has to garner at least 1000 annual subscriptions and round up $600,000 in sponsorship money by Nov. 30 of this year.

Bixi will be launching a Toronto website in late July at toronto.bixi.com (this link will re-direct to the main Bixi site until then) but in the meantime have released some FAQs (PDF) for people interested in the system:

BIXI Toronto Q&A

1. Why should I pledge for BIXI Toronto now? Why not wait?
• In order to launch BIXI Toronto, City council has placed a requirement that 1000 pledges be generated by November 30th 2010.

2. What other milestones must be reached to ensure this program?
• In addition to 1000 pledges, 80 docking station locations must be secured; As well, $600,000 in
sponsorship.


3. If I pledge now, will I receive a refund if these milestones are not met?

• Yes. Your money will be returned.


4. When will BIXI Toronto be launched if these milestones are met?

• BIXI Toronto is scheduled to start May 2011.

5. How much money does it cost?
• For a year round membership it is $95.00. (This is less than a monthly TTC Metropass)


6. Is BIXI a seasonal program?

• Unlike other cities, BIXI Toronto will be run year round. (In Montréal it is a seasonal program fromMay to November, hence their fees are slightly less).

7. Who can use BIXI?
• You have to be at least 14 years of age and measure at least 1.24 metres (4’1″) in height to use BIXI.  BIXI users who are minors must be subscribed by their legal guardians and remain under their responsibility.


8. How do I access the bicycles once I have pledged?

• A BIXI-key will be provided to you. This key will give you 24 hr access to any BIXI bike across the city.

9. Can I lend my BIXI-key to someone else?
• No. Your BIXI-key is yours and yours alone and is not transferable.

10. How can I pay for BIXI?
• Payment can be made with VISA or MasterCard. For those who do not have a credit card, a holder of a credit card can pay for your subscription to the service, whether they subscribe to it or not. This person must fill out the subscription form and click on the Add a co-subscriber button and enter the pertinent information. Subscription and usage fees will be charged to their credit card.

11. What kind of benefits do I receive for signing-up early?
• People who pledge before the launch of BIXI will receive perks packages. They will also be
recognized on the website.


12. Where can I sign-up?

• Online at http://toronto.bixi.com (this website will not be live until the launch date of July 28th, 2010).

For more information on the way BIXI works, please check out: http://montreal.bixi.com/f-a-q

  • I would register, but I do not think there will be a station near my home on Jameson Ave.

  • Well, the stations are supposed to be all over the place… although we’ll have to wait and see what happens. When the 1st phase was decreased from 3000 to 1000 bikes, the number of stations dropped from 300 to 80, so the distribution of these will be interesting.

    Actually, it is very surprising (and concerning) that there will now be 27% of the docking stations as originally planned, but (as far as I know) they haven’t reduced the area it will service. It would’ve made sense to reduce the geographic area (to just the downtown core) to ensure proper coverage of the bikes.

    From a background doc (PDF) about this:

    In order for the program to be successful the customers have to be reasonably assured that a
    bicycle will be available for pick-up at all times and that a docking space will be available
    when they arrive at their destination. To provide this high level of service, bicycles and
    bicycle parking stations must be placed in highly visible locations within the “service area”,
    generally no more than 300 metres apart.

    So… will stations still be 300 metres apart? I hope so.

  • Oh ok. From my understanding, it was Originally going west to reach Ronci, but was then scaled back to Bathurst.

  • I haven’t seen anything about the geographic area being scaled back… but if that info is out there, please let us know. It would be good to share with everyone.

  • Well they are either going to be spread out much farther, or the area will be severely reduced. Its almost 1/4 of the original. I don’t think it will work like this. It looks like it may just be for tourists.

  • I have read that this was a lesson learned years ago with the bike program in Paris France… That they started off with not enough bikes and it wasn’t until they added a lot more bikes that the Paris program “took off”. I read conflicting statements… that the ratio in Paris is one bike per 100 population or that it is one bike per 200.

    If “Toronto” (eg just the downtown) has a population of one million and the ratio was one bike per two hundred that would mean 5000 bikes in the program… not 1000. Pretty sure City Council have shot this program in the foot. Actually they will probably shoot both feet.

    tks

  • A Toronto Star article mentions the reduced “Bixi-Zone”.. or whatever you want to call it. :)

    The sites will be spaced around downtown every 300 metres or so, south of Bloor east of Spadina and west of Jarvis. If popular, more stations will be added across the city.

    This is great news… spacing them out further would be detrimental to the program.

  • If anyone is interested, our real estate brokerage in Toronto shot a short video tutorial in Montreal showing how their Bixi bikesharing system works:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aEeVee7G9LU

    It’s a lot like Zipcar actually – just insert electronic key, undock the bike, and go. To return the bike, just insert it into the docking station like a grocery cart. Mind you, Montreal has 400 stations spread from Centre-Ville to Mt. Royal. Hopefully Bixi Toronto will be a hit and the coverage will expand quickly.