Submitted by Jeff Buster on Tue, 06/14/2011 - 10:28.

bixi bicycle rental computerized racks and bikes toronto june 2011 iimage jeff buster

From its established location in Montreal, the Bixi bike rental system has just rolled out in Toronto.

The wirelessly interfaced computer connected racks are located around downtown Toronto on the public sidewalks.  

You can read about the system and pricing on the Bixi Toronto site.

A one year rental is $95.00 plus taxes.   Think about it....when the weather is nice you can now ride one way to work...and go home on the bus in the rain!

Managing the inventory of bikes at the intown and out of town racks will be a challenge.   

Why won't Cleveland ever see this system?  Or do you think Cleveland will see such a system?

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Bike safety saves taxes

 montreal bike lanes image june 2011 jeff buster

In Montreal there are bike lanes which are on the curbside of the parked cars.   The bike lane is thus protected from vehicle traffic by the parked cars, making cycling safer.    When you ride a bike in this situation, you can feel that you are more comfortable - knowing you are protected from buses and trucks and cars and won't get dinged by a passing side mirror.  You do need to pay attention to right turners at the intersections, however.

With the feeling of safety comes increased bike use.   Increased bike use means more physical exercise, happier, healthier citizens, and lower medical costs - saving taxes.

If a bike is used instead of a car, there is less wear and tear on the highway infrastructure, so roads aren't beat up as much saving highway repair and saving taxes.

Every bike mile that is traveled means that there is less pollution in the air, making life more pleasant, making everyone healthier, and helping everyone work - generating taxes!

I'll bet there  is a significant  positive economic multiplier for the local economy which accompanies increased bike use - 

Bixi Toronto is facing insolvency

 The Toronto Star reports that the Bixi franchise in Toronto is facing insolvency.   

In other cities - Montreal for example - the Bixi operation is solvent.  

It is curious that in Toronto, with it's constant traffic congestion, and a young population - that the Bixi bike sharing operation  can't break even. 

It costs only $97 for an annual membership for all you can use bicycle rental.   Bixi reps said their financial problems stem from only a 1000 bikes in the system - too small they say - a critical mass of 3000 bikes is the minimum necessary for viability.