The City is coming close to a deal for a bikesharing program. I heard through the grapevine that it might even launch by July (though it would be tough). There are two main hurdles with get this up and running: financing and station locations. The program is supposedly going to operate year-round, which would be great, but which increases the difficulty of finding appropriate locations. I imagine the staff are having a hard time finding any unclaimed space, and would have to pay the Toronto Parking Authority for lost car parking revenue.
The City, I've been told, is close to figuring out the financing. Bixi will have to put forward a big chunk, which they'll recoup in usage fees. The CIty is making deals with some mysterious interests who are probably providing some cash in exchange for exposure. It's all made more difficult that the deal has to be at no cost. It's rare for a public service to have such demands on it, so it's commendable that the staff have been able to get this far. It also says something to how bikesharing has progressed and how cycling infrastructure is such a good deal: no digging, no gas bills, no ticket collectors, no operators. Cheap.
So, anyway, I'd like to bring your attention to the styling of the bikes (hence the image of the yellow bike). Maybe we could come up with a great look for the bikes and present our ideas to the City (I haven't thought it all through).
Some of you may recall the halcyon days of BikeShare's yellow bikes. Apparently the City hasn't decided yet on a colour or name. Since it's about four years since the yellow BikeShare program closed due to lack of funding, I'm proposing we paint the Bixi bikes yellow and call the program BikeShare. It will be to the honour of all the volunteers and staff who worked hard to build BikeShare.