Update: see previous posts – April 17, 2013 BIXI Toronto: A Failing Business, August 19, 2012 BIXI Toronto – Fails Green Test and Violates Muncipal By-laws Governed by the Highway Traffic Act, August 9, 2012 Art of Bicycle Maintenance Puts Young Workers on a New Path, January 23, 2012 Bixi – Coldest Day of the Year Bike Ride On Monday, Jan. 30/12 from Toronto City Hall to Royal York Hotel on Front St , August 28, 2011 BIXI Toronto – Wants to Expand in Toronto, While Charging Torontonians $17 More and Provides 15 Minutes, Less June 26, 2011 Bixie – When Will BIXI Give Torontonians the Same Deal They Give to Montrealers?, May 11, 2011 Bixi – Car Crashes Into Bike Rack at Bay & Queen Street Bixi Station , May 6, 2011 BIXI Quebec Already Lays Off Employees, May 4, 2011 Bixi Charges $17 More in Toronto and Gives 15 Minutes Less Free Time than Montreal, May 2, 2011 Bixi, April 30, 2011 Bixi – Toronto (Arriving Soon)
The troubled Bixi bike share program will undergo a review by city officials.
A senior City of Toronto official has been asked to look into the financial problems of the Bixi bike share program and report his findings to the mayor’s executive committee in July.
Toronto has guaranteed a loan of up to $4.8 million, which could be at risk if Bixi stops making payments. City staff say Bixi isn’t breaking even on its day-to-day costs.
At its meeting this week, the executive committee chaired by Mayor Rob Ford gave confidential instructions to deputy city manager John Livey, who will report back at the July 3 executive committee.
“We are trying to take action that’s going to protect the city and taxpayers from any further financial exposure, and at the same time, I think what we want to do is to see if we can save Bixi, seeing as how we’re on the hook for millions of dollars. And people see value in the program.”
Ford has said he opposes using tax dollars to subsidize Bixi, which has 1,000 bikes and 80 stations. The company’s president has said it needs investment and growth to become sustainable.
Councillor Mike Layton says the organization needs to have 3,000 bikes to be more successful.
While Minnan-Wong isn’t keen to provide a subsidy, he stopped short of ruling out the idea.
“If we’re going to subsidize it, we have to see a good financial plan to do that,” he said. “I’m a little leery of programs that are in financial difficulty and the people who are financing come and say, oh no, the problem is you haven’t given us enough money.”
Meanwhile, it’s business as usual at Bixi, which started up in the spring of 2011 and has provided 1.3 million bike trips.