Toronto’s plan to save Bixi transfers the bike-sharing program to the Toronto Parking Authority, turns over management to a Portland-based firm and uses money from Astral Media that was going to be spent on public toilets, the National Post has learned.
The deal, approved at a closed-door meeting of city council 10 days ago, will also see Toronto “eat” the $3.9-million in loan guarantees that the city gave to Bixi, owned by the City of Montreal, according to a source.
But the deal to save Bixi Toronto is not final until Bixi in Montreal signs it.
Bixi has offered to sell the 1,000 Bixi bikes it operates in Toronto to the city for $1,200 each. A source said, however, that negotiations bogged down after Toronto learned that Bixi planned to put sale proceeds in its pocket and not reimburse local creditors, such as the mechanics who fix the Toronto bikes. Toronto hired a bankruptcy lawyer to review the arrangement, the source said.
“If we don’t make a deal, Bixi Toronto goes bankrupt,” the source said.