Update: see previous posts – January 20, 2014 BIXI Montreal: Owes $50 Million – Has Applied for Bankruptcy Protection, November 25, 2103 BIXI: Toronto, Like Montreal Before It, Bails Out BIXI At A $4 Million Loss
New name, look and prices for Toronto’s Bixi
It’s bye, bye Bixi.
Toronto’s bike sharing network has a new name, a new logo and new prices favouring long-term users.
The Toronto Parking Authority is set to unveil the changes Monday morning and they’ll take effect Tuesday, the same day TPA officially takes over as the new operator.
The program will simply be called “Toronto Bike Share” and will be operated daily by Alta Bicycle Share, a Portland, Oregon-based company operating bike share systems in New York, Chicago, Boston and Melbourne, Australia.
The new logo will look almost identical to Toronto Parking logos except with a bike instead of a green P, said Marie Casista, vice-president of real estate, development and marketing for TPA.
“(The name) really represents what it is,” Casista said, “and what we’re doing.”
The beleaguered urban cycling program, which started in 2011, has struggled financially, telling the city last year it could no longer make payments on a $3.9-million city loan.
In December, Bixi’s creator Quebec-based Public Bike System Company and the city came to a deal to transfer all Toronto assets, with TPA set to run the program as of April 1. In January, the Public Bike System Company filed for bankruptcy protection.
The new pricing scheme is designed to encourage riders to commit for the long-haul, Casista said.
Twenty-four-hour passes will increase from $5 to $7 and 72-hour passes will increase from $12 to $15, while monthly memberships will drop more than half from $41 to $18 and annual memberships will decrease from $97 to $90.
While the TPA partnered with Alta Bicycle Share for daily operation, Casista said they’re still searching for a sponsor to help offset the costs, which could mean another new name.
“If that were to occur then the name will change, but this could take some time,” she said and in the interim the TPA thought the basic name “made a lot of sense.”