TORONTO – BIXI bikes, Toronto’s failing bike sharing program, may not become part of the TTC as previously suggested by TTC Chair Karen Stintz.
A staff report set to be reviewed by the TTC board Wednesday recommends the bike sharing program not become part of the TTC because it is not financially sustainable and not part of the commission’s core business.
“BIXI Toronto is carrying a $3.9 million capital debt and other potential financial liabilities associated with the program, and its operating revenues are currently insufficient to cover its operating costs,” the report reads. “The TTC is already forced to cut important transit-related capital projects, because of funding constraints, as well as limit service improvements owing to financial pressures.”
Stintz has previously said that she was willing to subsidize BIXI bikes as part of the TTC.
“Every form of transportation in the world is subsidized. Whether its air, rail, pedestrian, shipping, roads, public transit, BIXI, they all require a subsidy,” Stintz said in May.
She added that the city never expected the bike-sharing program to turn a profit. And if BIXI is allowed to fail, the city of Toronto will lose approximately $3.9 million from a previous loan to the bike-sharing program.
The report does state however that large cities including London, England, Montreal and Chicago fund similar bike-sharing programs.
In Montreal, subscribers to the city’s equivalent of a TTC metropass get a $20 discount of a BIXI membership.
BIXI is also an additional environmentally-sustainable means of providing mobility within the city, according to the report.