Looks like our post yesterday wrangled up some official statements and a hit in mainstream media. Gary Welsh, manager of Transportation Services told the National Post, "At this point in time we can’t seem to operate a public bike system at no cost to the city, which is contrary to what council proposed."
Mr. Welsh assures us that negotiations continue:
“This doesn’t mean the program is being abandoned, we’re still looking at the viability of the program and how we can enable it in the future,” Mr. Welsh said.
“I think it would be beneficial to the city. It’s needed by residents of Toronto and we’re just trying to develop a system that we know will work and something that will not be a significant cost to the city.”
The official line is being awefully vague: just what is going to cost more? Through the grapevine I've heard that, in fact, the staff were able to negotiate a "No Cost" deal with Bixi (but we'll take all the benefits, thank you very much), but that it required a loan guarantee, which the City Manager's office quickly squelched.
Aren't the staff supposed to produce a report for City Council? City Council and the general public should hear in more detail about what happened and this shouldn't just die and disappear within the city bureaucracy.