70 new stations being added to city’s Bike Share program
Joshua Freeman, CP24.com
Published Wednesday, August 2, 2017 12:48PM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, August 2, 2017 3:09PM EDT
Dozens of new stations are being added to the city’s bike share program in an effort to encourage people to make cycling a part of their regular commute.
The city will see 70 new stations added in close proximity to TTC subway stations and streetcar stops this month to encourage people to integrate cycling into their trip rather than using a car to get to a stop or for their entire journey.
The new bike share spots will be spread out as far west as South Kingsway and as far east as Victoria Park Avenue, though the city has not yet said exactly where all the stops will be located.
The expansion was officially announced by Mayor John Tory, Ontario Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca and MP Julie Dzerowicz Wednesday.
“I believe there’s a great appetite on the part of people both for cost reasons and congestions reasons to get out of their cars,” Tory told reporters.
He said that people use the bikes when they have the option and it’s convenient to do so and he said encouraging the use of bikes is part of building a better overall transit system for the city.
“I think it’s working and I think we have to turn our minds to the fact people are going to get around this city in different ways than before,” he said.
A Bike Share membership currently costs $90 per year and includes an unlimited number of 30 minute trips. Additional charges apply incrementally for trips that are longer than half an hour. Presto Card users are also eligible for 40 per cent off their membership for the first year.
While the program has been lauded for encouraging cycling, some critics have pointed out that the number of stations and their concentration in the downtown core limited the usefulness and appeal of the program.
Tory said the idea of expanding around transit stations is to get people to go “that last mile” of their journey using a bike in order to make the overall trip more convenient.
“I am very determined to see us spread this across the city in a businesslike way,” he said.
The expansion of the program is being funded with $2.75 million from the city and $1.25 million from the federal government. The province, in 2016, contributed $4.9 million to add 80 stations around the city.
The expansion means that the bike share program, run under the Toronto Parking Authority, will boast 270 stations, 2,750 bikes and 4,700 docks.
According to the city, riders have collectively travelled a total of nearly 17 million kilometres since 2011, offsetting more than 3 million kg of carbon dioxide emissions.