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Toronto Bike Share

JasonParis

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Nevermind the fact that it's great having increased cycling infrastructure in the city, but from a simple aesthetic standpoint I found Montreal's BIXI stations gave the city a huge "urban flavour" boost (if that makes any sense). I'd actually go as far as to say they made parts of Montreal look perfectly northern European!
 

simply Dan

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Well I wouldn't go so far as to say "perfectly" northern European... but certainly a step in the right direction! :)
 

lead82

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This is a great step forward. Now if we could only get more dedicated bike lanes (ROW) in downtown Toronto streets, that would make it fantastic.

Still a huge leap forward. Based on the article, it is being installed at no cost to the city and no advertising. So who is paying for this then?
 

wagthedog

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during field trip in Montreal I got to try them out. They're pretty rigid and hard to steer somewhat.

On that note I think they're perfect for tourists but for residents why would they pay $5 a hour or $100 per year subscription when they can get a bike at Canadian tire at $200. And it will last you many years.

The maintenance of the bikes alone is prohibitive, and don't even mention vandalism and theft.

Just doesnt make any sense, I'd rather the city give rebates or tax credits to those who buy their own, that will encourage more to bike for certain.
 

kettal

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On that note I think they're perfect for tourists but for residents why would they pay $5 a hour or $100 per year subscription when they can get a bike at Canadian tire at $200. And it will last you many years.
Really? A heavily used Canadian Tire bike will need lots of repairs after a year. You'll spend close to $100 per year to keep one of those bikes going.

Another advantage to Bixi, is that you get off the subway at rush hour, you can pick up a bixi and complete your journey. You can't take your bike on the subway during peak hours.
 

wagthedog

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Really? A heavily used Canadian Tire bike will need lots of repairs after a year. You'll spend close to $100 per year to keep one of those bikes going.

Another advantage to Bixi, is that you get off the subway at rush hour, you can pick up a bixi and complete your journey. You can't take your bike on the subway during peak hours.
ok i do not know the numbers for maintenance because I don't bike on regular basis. But if you do maintain it well yourself (lube, cleaning out guck, rust protect), it should last you a while.

granted outside the core, but inside the core why would you need to bike to your destination when everythnig is a 2 min. walk from the subway stop?

Surely encouraging bike use can be done through rebates and tax credits.
 

savevp

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This is incredible news! Finally Toronto will be a bike-friendly city, which is very important to me.
I have a few ideas of where the BIXI stations should go besides the obvious places (Unions, Bay St., etc.)

-Trailheads
-Shopping Malls
-Transit Terminals
-Entrances to the ravines
-Ferry terminal
-On Toronto Island
-cityplace and other major condo developments

As well, I hope that the system can be expanded out of the city limits to York, Peel, Durham, etc. although that is unlikely in the forseeable future.
And I do not think that $5.$100 per year is that pricey. It is a great way to bike and it saves a lot of schlepping your bike around the city on the TTC.

It kind of brings to mind the VeloCity plans of the past.
 

kettal

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Currently, bikes are all PST exempt, but that's ending soon.

The best way to think about this is like a car-share program such as Autoshare or Zipcar. They're hugely successful, and a lot better for downtown folks than keeping an old clunker for the occasions they need to drive. You could say "just buy a cheap used car", but obviously there are advantages to the car sharing.

I know I'll use it a lot. Currently, on nice weekends, I rent bikes from Curbside Cycle. I could pull out my own bike, but the $2000 models that Curbside rents out are far superior.
 

CDL.TO

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The program is so successful because it offers flexibility. It's not a substitute for owning a bike. The economics of owning a bike and the quality of a bike you own are both superior, but only if you want to own a bike and all that comes with that.

This is a substitute for short trips by pubic transit, taxi, or walking. I look forward to taking the TTC to work downtown, using a Bixi to run errands from the office during the day, using a Bixi to get to friends and events around downtown after work, then taking the TTC back home again (maybe even after a couple drinks).

Other than the $100 cost, there's no commitment. There's a large commitment associated with a bicycle you own. Too often have I found myself wishing I had my bike because I had too-far-to-walk-but-too-short-to-TTC trips to make and too often have I found myself wishing I didn't have my bike with me because I have to account for it in my plans.

I guess the most important thing to say... I don't think foolishness is much of an explanation for the success of the program in Paris, Lyon, Montreal, Barcelona, Brussels, Rome, and other cities.

I can't wait.
 

SunriseChampion

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Finally, I won't have to walk between Union and Cherry Beach when the bus isn't running!
 

jamesschwartz

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This is a great step forward. Now if we could only get more dedicated bike lanes (ROW) in downtown Toronto streets, that would make it fantastic.

Still a huge leap forward. Based on the article, it is being installed at no cost to the city and no advertising. So who is paying for this then?
The system will be built on investment by the Public Bicycle Systems Company (BIXI) (approximately $10-15 million I believe) and they will make their investment money back from user fees. If the system is used widely, they will expand it by investing more money in it (at no cost to the city).

The fact that the bicycles have a 30-minute time limit allows them to scale it to support thousands of people. Paris' Velib system has grown to 20,000 bicycles.
 

jamesschwartz

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during field trip in Montreal I got to try them out. They're pretty rigid and hard to steer somewhat.

On that note I think they're perfect for tourists but for residents why would they pay $5 a hour or $100 per year subscription when they can get a bike at Canadian tire at $200. And it will last you many years.

The maintenance of the bikes alone is prohibitive, and don't even mention vandalism and theft.

Just doesnt make any sense, I'd rather the city give rebates or tax credits to those who buy their own, that will encourage more to bike for certain.
I don't think this system is meant to be a substitute for having your own bicycle. I own 3 bicycles, but I still plan to use BIXI when it comes to Toronto, for a whole bunch of reasons.

1) I don't have to worry about locking up my bike or if it starts raining I can leave the bike and hop on a streetcar or the subway.
2) Convenience - I can pick one up almost anywhere, and drop it off almost anywhere
3) Storage - it can be difficult to store bicycles in the city - instead of going downstairs into my condo bike storage or locker, I could just walk outside and hop on a BIXI
4) People who take the GO Train can get off the train and hop on a bike
5) It's a good alternative to taking a taxi or the subway - and it's $5/day (not $5/hour) or $78 a year

The possibilities are endless with BIXI. But perhaps most importantly, BIXI could help bring us better infrastructure sooner.
 

kettal

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The design of the handlebars does look a bit awkward. Does anyone else have experience with Montreal's Bixis?



That is the ideal ergonomics for city bikes, with the handlebars curving towards the rider's hips. And the steering column on Bixi is also weird. But I've never used it personally so I don't know.
 

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