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The future of Toronto’s Bixi bikes

Great write-up by Spacing on the saving and future expansion on Bixi Toronto:

Bixi has been granted a reprieve by council, after a motion passed unanimously to save the program. The vote united councillors of every political stripe, with representation from every geographical corner of the city. The plan is not only to save Bixi, but to look seriously at ways to expand it.

“What you’ve seen today is city council demonstrating its political will to try to do the best that we can to preserve the Bixi program,” Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam told Spacing.

Full Story: Rolling Out: The future of Toronto’s Bixi bikes | Spacing Toronto.

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Toronto turns management of Bixi over to Portland firm

Bixi Toronto will be administratively under the Toronto Parking Authority, but managed by Portland’s Alta Bicycle Share.

Toronto’s plan to save Bixi transfers the bike-sharing program to the Toronto Parking Authority, turns over management to a Portland-based firm  and uses money from Astral Media that was going to be spent on public toilets, the National Post has learned.

The deal, approved at a closed-door meeting of city council 10 days ago, will also see Toronto “eat” the $3.9-million in loan guarantees that the city gave to Bixi, owned by the City of Montreal, according to a source.

Full story: Toronto to eat $3.9-million loan to Bixi, turn management of troubled bike program over to Portland-based firm | National Post.

(if you hit the Post’s paywall, you need to learn about incognito browsing)

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City Council votes to save Bixi Toronto!

Great bike news came out of the Rob Ford debacle at City Hall yesterday…. not only has Council agreed to sustain Bixi Toronto (possibly running it via the Toronto Parking Authority), but making changes to development bylaws that allow Section 37 funds (the money that condo developers pay the city to exceed height restrictions) to be used to financially support Bixi, with the goal of expanding it.

City councillors voted Thursday to sustain the city’s troubled Bixi bike program, possibly linking it with the Toronto Parking Authority.

Council adopted a confidential report that will continue negotiations with PBSC Urban Solutions, the Montreal-based company that started Bixi — with the goal of keeping it operational.

“Whether it makes money or not, whether it breaks even or not, it’s a valuable asset,” said Councillor John Parker, after the meeting.

…the majority of city councillors consider Bixi an essential component of city infrastructure and want it to succeed.

“The success of Bixi is in the popularity of the program,” said Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong. “Not necessarily in the contract that we negotiated.”

Full Story: Toronto council votes to save troubled Bixi bike-share program | National Post.

(if you hit the National Post paywall, just enable incognito browsing to view the article)

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Toronto nearing deal to save Bixi

Good news for Bixi:

The city government and Bixi have resurrected a deal to keep the troubled bicycle-sharing service alive — a deal that may involve a $5 million toilets-for-bikes trade.“I’m extremely optimistic,” city cycling manager Daniel Egan said in an interview Tuesday, a day before the meeting at which council will vote on Bixi’s future.

via Toronto nearing deal to save Bixi bike-share service | Toronto Star.

(if you get the “Digital Access” restriction, you should read this)

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Condo developers contribute $1 million to Bixi Toronto

Too many politicians talk a good game, but how many actually follow through? Kristyn Wong-Tam FOR THE WIN.

If, one day, the Bixi bicycle-sharing program finally arrives in neighbourhoods outside the downtown core, it may come courtesy of a downtown councillor and downtown developers.

Playing infrastructure Santa Claus, the councillor, Kristyn Wong-Tam, has persuaded three companies planning highrise condos in booming Ward 27, Toronto Centre-Rosedale, to put a total of $1 million toward the expansion Bixi says is desperately needed. The city now has 80 Bixi stations; the $1 million could pay for about 20 more.

Full Story: Bixi: Condo developers contribute $1 million to Toronto bike-share expansion | Toronto Star.

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