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The News Cycle for Friday, Feb. 10, 2012

Rush hour parking hogs to face $150 fine [The Star]

Motorists should be dinged $150 for parking on busy streets in rush hour, or blocking a bicycle lane any time, city council decided. The city must now seek court approval before it can increase the fine from the current $60 for parking during rush hour — 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday to Friday.

Commuter cyclists can help keep recreational Trail Plan on track [Dandyhorse Magazine]

Included as part the Mayor’s Bike Plan , the Trails Plan  aims to improve existing multi-use trails across the city as well as add 100 km of new off-road trails. About 30 km of new off-road multi-use trails are close to completion. These trails were approved in 2009, prior to the current mayor’s election, and are funded as part of the Recreational Infrastructure Canada Program in Ontario (RInC). These trails include the Finch Hydro Corridor and CN Leaside trails (for a full list of RInC projects in Toronto see here ).

Betty & Dash: New bike share at Vic College [Dandyhorse Magazine]

Betty & Dash” sounds more like a Saturday morning cartoon than a bike club, but maybe that’s appropriate. Founders Stephanie Fox and Esther MacKenzie envisioned a non-intimidating group that wouldn’t take itself too seriously, and naming it after their own bikes was just the start.  The club now lends bikes and tools to students, free of charge. 

Why cycling can make you a happier person [Globe & Mail]

I wasn’t riding a bike just to ride a bike. I was doing it to enter the Church of the Wheel, where supplicants are a happy lot, if you believe the catechists.  The happiest cities all have a high number of cyclists, John Helliwell, a renowned happiness expert and economist at University of British Columbia, explained to me.

Toronto falling behind pack in averting bicycle collisions, data reveals [Globe & Mail]

While traffic fatalities overall have declined, according to Toronto Police, data acquired by The Globe and Mail show cycling collisions have remained stubbornly consistent for the past decade. The number of reported collisions in 2010 was nearly identical in 2000. Since 1986, only one year has passed without a bicyclist fatality.

[Map from the City of Toronto, via Dandyhorse Magazine]

About the News Cycle

The News Cycle is a periodic post which brings together links to news, events and other things which may be of interest to Toronto’s cyclists.  If you have an item you would like to see in The News Cycle, please email it to me at joe[at]bikingtoronto.com

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Nellie’s Women’s Shelter starting a Bike Sharing Program

News from Nellie’s Women’s Shelter:

Nellie’s Women’s Shelter is currently seeking bikes, bells, locks, lights and helmets to help our women get around the city!

Living in a big city is difficult without access to efficient and affordable transportation. That’s why this summer we’re starting a Bike Sharing Program for the women and children at Nellie’s Shelter!

When women come to Nellie’s they are provided with basic necessities like shelter, food, and clothing, but the isolation that comes from living in poverty in an unfamiliar place can be difficult to break. You can help us provide women with access to bikes that will not only increase their mobility and physical wellness, but most importantly allow them to connect with their community, access support, and have some FUN in the process! We are also looking for children’s bikes for our Summer Camp Program.

Due to the generosity of a few amazing individuals we’ve already started collecting some bikes, but there are still many ways you can help! We need new or gently used locks, helmets, bells, and lights to keep our women and children safe while riding. Take a look below to see what we still need. You can help make this summer one to remember for the women and children at Nellie’s!

NELLIE’S BIKE WISHLIST

  • 5 Women’s Bikes
  • 15 Children’s Bikes
  • 35 each of locks, helmets, bells, and lights

Please contact us at 416-461-0769 or info@nellies.org for more information or to donate.

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The Bixi Toronto Press Release – Full Text

Here is the full text of the City of Toronto press release about the May 3, 2011 Launch of Bixi Toronto.  If you’d like to download the PDF for yourself, you can find it on Google Docs here.

March 15, 2011

BIXI Toronto set to launch on May 3

The City of Toronto and the Public Bike System Company are proud to announce that the official launch of the BIXI Toronto program will take place on May 3 with 1,000 bikes, 80 BIXI stations and 1,500 docking points in Toronto’s downtown core. City Council approved the BIXI Toronto program last May.

“The BIXI Toronto program is an exciting new cycling initiative that will encourage more bicycle trips in the downtown core. It is also a great example of public-private partnership to benefit Toronto residents and visitors,” said Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong (Ward 34 Don Valley East), Chair of the City’s Public Works and Infrastructure Committee.

The Public Bike System Company (PBSC) is the organization behind the concept, development and operation of award-winning BIXI – which operates bike-sharing systems on three continents and is the first large-scale bike sharing system in North America.

“We are happy to count Toronto among the three Canadian cities where the BIXI service will be available in 2011,” said Roger Plamondon, Chairman of the PBSC board. “More than 1,200 Torontonians purchased an annual membership last fall, five months before the program’s launch. We are convinced that Torontonians will quickly adopt the BIXI bikes as a convenient and economical way to get around.”

Designed to complement public transit, the BIXI bikes are intended to be used for one-way trips of less than 30 minutes. BIXI bikes can be picked up or dropped off at any of the 80 downtown bicycle docking stations 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Regular users of the system will purchase a pass for periods of time ranging from one month to one year and will receive a BIXI key. Members can use their BIXI key to take out a bike at any station in the network. Non-members can purchase a 24-hour pass. There is no trip fee if the bicycle is returned to a bike station within 30 minutes. A fee is charged for any trip longer than 30 minutes.

More information about the program is available at http://toronto.bixi.com.

Media contacts:
Steve Johnston, Senior Communications Coordinator, City of Toronto, 416-392-4391,
sjohnsto@toronto.ca
Bérengère Thériault, Public Bike System Company, cell 514-497-9380
btheriault@publicbikesystem.com

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Bixi Toronto reaches 1000 Subscriber Goal

Bixi reaches 1000 membersBixi Toronto has now reached the goal of signing up 1000 annual subscribers for the public bike rental system scheduled to start in May 2011.  

The deadline for the 1000 goal was Nov. 30, so they reached that handily.

Here’s how the 1000 members were signed up, over time:

The 1000 subscribers is a great acheivement, but the Bixi System launching is not a sure thing yet – as Duncan writes:

However, Bixi Toronto is not a sure thing just yet. The good news is that you can help. In addition to 1,000 early subscribers the bike share system also needs to secure $600,000 in sponsorship. Of that total, ING Direct has contributed $450,000. The remaining money can come from both additional sponsors and from subscribers beyond the 1,000 mark.

That’s right… now that we’re over 1000 subscribers, any additional subscriber money can be counted towards the sponsorship money goal.

Have you signed up yet?  It’s $95 (+HST = $107.35) for an entire year!  That gives you unlimited free rides for an entire year (as long as your trip is less than 30 minutes).

There will be 1,000 Bixi bikes sprinkled all over the downtown core (click for map) at 80 Bixi stations… all between Bloor, Jarvis, Lake Ontario and Spadina.  The perfect transportation option for downtown zipping around.

Check out our Bixi Toronto Information Page for more info!

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Bixi Toronto reaches 800 Annual Subscriptions

Bixi Toronto has announced they’ve reached the 800 mark for annual subscriptions!  Already 80% of the way to 1000 sign-ups needed by Nov. 30 in order for the system to launch in May 2011.

Interested in how fast the 800 member level was reached?  We’ve been keeping track:

Have you signed up yet?  It’s $95 (+HST = $107.35) for an entire year!  That gives you unlimited free rides for an entire year (as long as your trip is less than 30 minutes).

There will be 1,000 Bixi bikes sprinkled all over the downtown core (click for map) at 80 Bixi stations… all between Bloor, Jarvis, Lake Ontario and Spadina.  The perfect transportation option for downtown zipping around.

Check out our Bixi Toronto Information Page for more info!

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