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TTC rejects Bixi but offers a distant hope

The TTC is in no position to save the Bixi bike-sharing program. But its board has agreed to take another look at the possibility if the city doesn’t come up with another solution.

The TTC doesn’t have the cash, the staff or the space to run Bixi, according to a report before the transit board on Wednesday.

That report is being forwarded to the city’s executive committee with the caveat that, if no other Bixi solution is found, the TTC will have another look at incorporating it into transit.

Full story: TTC rejects match with Bixi bikes — but offers a distant hope | Toronto Star.

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TTC won’t save Bixi bikeshare program

Citing a lack of “financial sustainability” and “not part of our core business”, the TTC is not going to take over Bixi.

I’ll pause here so you can go back and re-read that sentence.

Read it?  Good.  Not financially sustainable?  That’s the entire mantra of the TTC!  Hundreds of millions of dollars flow into the TTC EVERY year to support public transit in Toronto.  EVERY year there is an operating loss.  They are worried about a loan debt of a measly 4 million dollars?  Kettle, meet Pot.

Also, “not part of our core business”???  The business of Bixi provides a way for people to get around Toronto.  I thought that was the business of the TTC.   Maybe it’s something else?

Bixi moves people around downtown cheaply, easily and quickly.    That SHOULD be the TTC’s core business, but it’s neither cheap nor easy nor quick.

Rant done.  I am actually happy that the TTC isn’t taking over Bixi, as they would run it into the ground, but the reasons they give are laughable.

Bixi Toronto, the bikeshare program floundering under a city loan debt, will most likely not be rescued by the Toronto Transit Commission.

A staff report to be brought forth at the commission’s meeting on Wednesday recommends the TTC not integrate Bixi into its services.

“BIXI is a bike-sharing program which is not part of the TTC’s core business of providing mass transit and would constitute a distraction from the TTC’s already-challenging mandate,” the report reads, while also highlighting Bixi’s financial difficulties, calling the program “not financially sustainable.”

Full story:  TTC will not step in to save struggling Bixi bikeshare program – The Globe and Mail.  (note: the Globe has a paywall – they’ll let you see a few articles for free.  When I see this story on another site, will re-blog it.)

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BIXI: It can totally transform Toronto if done right

What can be done with Bixi Toronto?  Just look at New York!

In what seemed to happen almost overnight, New York City changed its transportation system as we know it, adding another mode of transportation for citizens and visitors alike to traverse that great city.

New York’s bike share system – known as Citi Bike – launched on May 27th, 2013 with about 4,300 bikes and plans to expand to 10,000 bicycles. The Urban Country took Citi Bike for a test ride while visiting New York two weekends ago, and we happy with the result.

Full story: Citi Bike: A Game Changer For New York City ← The Urban Country.

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Why Bike Sharing is worth it

It would be foolish for Toronto to drain the the tires of its fledgling Bixi program before it really gets going, however. Even if bike sharing has so far failed to live up to the hype of its promoters, the concept remains relatively new and programs are constantly improving. Cities are still testing business models and fleet sizes to figure out the best way to deliver on the promise of a cleaner environment, reduced congestion and more active citizens without soaking taxpayers.

While bike sharing has been around at least since Amsterdam launched a program in 1965, it has exploded in the past five years. With an annual membership or a small daily fee, users can hop on any of the thousands of bikes parked in strategic locations. As long they keep each trip short, usually no more than 30 minutes, no additional fees apply.

Full story: It’s too early to give up on bike sharing – The Globe and Mail.

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Bixi Toronto decision delayed until fall

The Toronto City Council Executive Committee has asked staff to do more research on the feasibility of Toronto taking over the Bixi Program… perhaps with it falling under the Toronto Parking Authority of Toronto Transit Commission umbrella.

I have concerns about either of these entities running Bixi… the TPA is very profits-focused, and if Bixi is not a big revenue generator right away, it may not get the attention it needs.  The TTC on the other hand, is tasked with getting people around the city, but they are chronically under-funded and seemingly operationally deficient at times.

The fate of Toronto’s troubled BIXI bike-sharing program will have to wait until the fall, but there are strong signs that the city is preparing to come to its aid.

The mayor’s executive committee voted late Wednesday night to send the matter back to staff. The directions to staff remain confidential, but after the vote public works chair Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong said he is pleased with the outcome.

Full story: Fate of BIXI bikes to be determined in fall – The Globe and Mail.

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