Cycling around Toronto will be made even more convenient this month, with Bike Share Toronto expanding with 70 new bike stations around the city over the next 4 weeks. Earlier today, Toronto Mayor John Tory was joined by Julie Dzerowicz, Member of Parliament for Davenport, on behalf of Minister of Infrastructure and Communities Amarjeet Sohi, and Ontario Minister of Transportation Steven Del Duca to announce another expansion of Bike Share Toronto's locations and fleet.
Before the month of August is over, 70 new bike stations will be installed near various Toronto subway stations and streetcar stops, and 700 new bicycles added to the system, bringing Bike Share Toronto's total number of bikes and docks up to 2,750 and 4,700 respectively. “Whether you ride a bike for fun or commute to and from work, cycling is a sustainable, healthy and efficient way to get around," said Minister Del Duca. "Working alongside municipalities and the federal government, we’re committed to making investments that will make Ontario a safe and attractive place to cycle.”
New locations are peppered throughout the existing range of the system, particularly beefing up Bike Share's presence Downtown, with several new locations along Bloor Street West, new areas served in some West End neighbourhoods, a little more presence in Leslieville and Riverdale, and several new locations along the Waterfront Trail around Humber Bay, including Etobicoke's first two stations. There are still many areas of the central city that are underserved, especially east of the Don, and Dupont Street and northwards.
Financing for the expansion came from all three levels of government. 50 of these new stations are being funded by $1.25 million contributions from both the Government of Canada and the City of Toronto, with the City to provide an additional $1.5 million to exclusively fund the expansion's remaining 20 stations. These financial contributions build upon the province's 2016 $4.9 million commitment to double the network, which includes 80 new stations and 800 new bikes in Downtown Toronto.
A statement released by MP Dzerowicz for the occasion reads "Public transit infrastructure funding makes it possible for Canadian communities to build the new urban transit networks and service extensions that will transform the way that Canadians live, move, and work. Investments in active transportation like the Bike Share Toronto system will decrease air pollution, promote healthy lifestyles and allow residents to have a broader range of commuting options.”
Together, these new stations will help to serve Bike Share Toronto's growing membership, which now stands at around 9,500 active members. Since being introduced as Bixi back in 2011, users of the bike sharing service have logged a combined 16,847,127 kilometres, offsetting over 3 million kilograms of CO2 emissions that would otherwise be produced by cars serving the same purpose. In the last year alone a staggering 1,191,746 rides were recorded in the city.
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