Bikesharing and Bixi taking over North America

A number of North American cities are getting their Bixi fix, just after Montreal has launched their own Bixi.

The City of Toronto will likely be negotiating with the Public Bicycle System Company (aka Bixi) to run a public bike scheme for Spring 2010 with 3000 bikes and 300 stations (as mentioned by Twitterer Jason Tsang). More information to come soon.

Minneapolis' new public bikesharing organization, Nice Ride, will be using Bixi's bikes and system. They are starting off with 1000 bikes and 75 stations.

Philidelphia had a demo where they invited Bixi to show off their system. Things are looking good for them to choose Bixi.

I heard through the grapevine that Vancouver has chosen Bixi for their bikesharing program. No confirmation yet.

(Just to be clear, I think that the Bixi name will be exclusive to Montreal and other cities will choose their own unique names. The company that runs Bixi and is selling the system elsewhere is called Public Bicycle System or Bixi System.)


June 22nd, 2009

An open letter to Mayor David Miller, Toronto City Council,
and the Citizens of Toronto

Dear Mayor Miller, Council and Constituents,

As the City embarks on many projects to promote cycling as a viable commuting tool, one of the most important measures to be taken is the implementation of a Public Bicycle Sharing System. As you may be aware, a Request for Expressions of Interest to implement such a system was released on April 17, 2009. Public Nature Corporation, (“PNC”), a Toronto-based company, was one of two proponents to submit an Expression of Interest.

Within mere days of receipt of the two Expressions of Interest, a decision was made by the City to consider only a single formal bid to provide the system (obviously not PNC’s). Now, notwithstanding PNC’s obvious bias in this matter, it is patently clear that this decision will lead to an uncompetitive bidding process; leaving the city with virtually no option but to select the sole bidder as the winning bidder.

On July 6, 2009, City Council is to vote on a resolution granting the City’s Transportation Services the authority to enter into negotiations with the sole bidder. At this session of council, we strongly urge you to remedy this egregious situation by instructing Transportation Services to also consider a formal bid from the only other proponent to submit an Expression of Interest – if only to ensure that the proponent that ultimately wins the tender provides the best possible solution at no cost to the City. Indeed, moving forward without a competitive bidding process would, at least in our view, be highly irresponsible on the part of the City and possibly contrary to its well-established protocols with respect to the tendering process.

Thank you for your consideration of this request; we look forward to the opportunity to submit a formal bid to provide a Public Bicycle Sharing System to the City in the context of a transparent and competitive tender process.

Yours truly,

Matias Marin,
CEO & Director

Stephen White,
President & Director

Public Nature Corporation
1139 College Street, Toronto, ON, M6H1B5
Telephone: 647-448-1623 E-Mail:

The Public Nature Corporation (they sound really professional but they don't even have a website) has made it into a National Post article on Bixi. They make some vague claims about how amazing their own technology is: it's electric! It will power the City! The bikes are theft-proof! It's all easy when you're still in the "development stage". Don't waste our time. You didn't meet the City's basic criteria so you were sent home with your marbles.