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Making The BIXI Pledge 1

Montreal BIXI

Photo by James D. Schwartz / The Urban Country

The City of Toronto originally planned to bring year-round BIXI bicycle sharing to town in 2010 with 3,000 bicycles at 300 stations. It then encountered some funding complications and postponed BIXI Toronto’s inauguration to the spring of 2011 with a reduced fleet of 1,000 bicycles for rent.

Now we are close to making BIXI in Toronto a reality – but we need your help. A condition for bringing BIXI here is that the city will need to get 1,000 people to pledge for a BIXI membership by November 30th.

I am happy to contribute my 1/1000th to help ensure BIXI becomes a reality for Torontonians and I hope some of our readers will consider making a pledge as well.

A new website at is being built to allow prospective users to sign up for memberships or obtain more details about the Toronto BIXI program. Our friend and fellow cycling advocate Herb over at has posted some detailed information and is calling out for 50 “community leaders” to help spread the word to others in the city. If you are interested in contributing as a community leader, email me or contact Herb for more details.

The way BIXI works in a nutshell is you insert your credit card into the solar-powered station to purchase a membership – at a cost of approximately $5/day, $35/month or $95/year. You are then entitled to use the bicycle for free as long as you return the bicycle to another station within 30 minutes. This enables the system to support a high capacity of users on short trips around the city.

We first took BIXI for a test drive in Montreal and thoroughly enjoyed the convenience of hopping on a bicycle anytime and dropping it off almost anywhere.


Photo by James D. Schwartz / The Urban Country

Even someone like me who now owns 3 bicycles could benefit from a bicycle sharing system. Sometimes it’s nice to leave your bike at home or at work, but knowing that you can still hop on a bicycle anytime you want to – for a nominal fee no less.

Sometimes I will leave my bike at the office and I will feel stranded because I’m forced to walk or take transit. Walking is slow, and transit can be crammed and sometimes unreliable.

A bike will almost never fail to get you where you need to go on time.

James D. Schwartz is the editor of The Urban Country. You can contact James at

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One comment on “Making The BIXI Pledge

  1. jamesmallon Jul 7,2010 4:22 pm

    I would love to, but I will be overseas for two years, so it will thrive in spite of this city gov’t, or die, by the time I’m back. I have three bikes, but I’d use it for errands, as I don’t use my bike on errands where I have to rely on locks in this town, after the Kenk saga, and we still have bike chop shops in Chinatown and Kensington and the cops doing nothing, but beat up protesters.

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