Bixie President Resigns

Update: see previous posts – August 28, 2011 Bixie – Wants to Expand in Toronto, While Charging Torontonians $17 More and Provides 15 Minutes Less, June 26, 2011 Bixie – When Will Bixie 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)

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When will the Bixie program in Toronto, provide Torontonians with the same low prices ($17.00 less) and additional time to ride (15 minutes) their bikes as Montrealers already receive and enjoy?

The president of the bike-sharing company Bixi has resigned because he can no longer guarantee that taxpayers won’t be on the hook for the company’s deficits.

Roger Plamondon quit on Friday after five years of involvement with financially flailing Bixi, confirmed company spokesman Michel Philibert.

Bixi operates separate organizations in Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa.

Plamondon left because of money problems at the Montreal branch, for which he blames the Quebec provincial government, he told the CBC.

In Plamondon’s tenure, Bixi racked up a $108 million budget shortfall in Montreal — $37 million for operations and $71 million to expand its business internationally.

Row of unused Bixie Bikes

Montreal’s city council approved a plan to bail out the company for $108 million in May. The idea was that Bixi would pay the money back with profits from local users and its operations abroad.

But a scathing report by auditor general Jacques Bergeron in June questioned whether it was legal for the city to loan money to a commercial enterprise.

The province subsequently demanded that award-winning Bixi sell its international operations so it could continue to receive city support.

This move put the company in the red, Plamondon told the CBC. If it was allowed to operate internationally, Bixi would have made money and cost taxpayers nothing, he said.

Toronto has a much smaller financial commitment to Bixi. The city has granted the Toronto branch a capital loan guarantee of $4.8 million over a period of 10 years.

Plamondon’s resignation will have no impact on operations in Toronto, Philibert said.

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