The bike sharing program Bixi has been in Toronto for just over a year now, and it’s getting use. In fact, according to a BIXI representative:
“The program is very successful. We have around 5,000 members and 20,000 casual users this year. Since the launch of the system, BIXI users have made more than 700 000 trips!“
We haven’t had cause to use BIXI yet in Toronto, as it doesn’t extend west to Ossington, so we ride our own bikes to work. People have tweeted us to use it: in fact, during NXNE, a really gung-ho BIXI fan tweeted that we should ride BIXI and park the bike at College and Borden and walk home from there. That isn’t the nearest station, though; there’s one at Dundas and Bathurst, a distance of 1.2km. Not a reason to switch from our own bikes, which get us door to door. Considering the number of cyclists who live in or visit Ossington Village, and the dearth of bike parking in the area, there really should be a BIXI station here. We contacted BIXI to find out why we don’t have a station yet, and learned that it’s not up to them, it’s up to the city.
“We need the city council to approve the release of funds and to approve the expansion project and the locations of the new stations. A report is coming to councillor this Fall.”
As one of my first acts on council I put forward a motion at public works committee to develop a strategy for expanding bixi. The report is not yet complete as staff have been told not to include in the budget unfortunately. So we need to find other money.
I’ve also been working to secure money and space in new development to fund its expansion.
Its more complex that putting in a station. The Bixi models requires a station about 100m from another station so we would need to install many stations along Queen or dundas to make to Ossington.
We’ve already seen it move a little further west along Bloor which is good news.
Long story short, I’m working on it.