bikesharing

Winners of the Best Video about BIXI Toronto Contest

Back in September I posted about our unofficial contest to see if we could get some better videos about BIXI Toronto - how it works, how to use the, and why you should get a membership. (Again, this contest was just I Bike TO's attempt to see if citizens could produce something interesting and informative videos and it was in no way an official contest of BIXI).

The contest ended yesterday and a small group of BIXI fans got together, viewed and judged the videos. We felt that the following two videos were both pretty good and it was hard to choose between them, but we did our duty.

Drum roll....

For first prize I present the short and sweet Bonjour Bixi video by Luca de Franco. The group felt that Luca's video was to the point and brought the message across with a great song. Luca will receive a Bell helmet from Hoopdriver Bicycles and a $50 gift certificate from Mountain Equipment Co-op.

.............

And for second prize I present Ms. Lulu's BIXI Toronto Needs You, an informative video on BIXI featuring the BIXI team describing the benefits and demonstrating the system mixed in with some cuts of BIXI in Montreal. Thank you Lulu! Lulu will receive a $50 gift certificate from Mountain Equipment Co-op.

Thank you everyone who submitted videos! And thank you to Hoopdriver Bicycles and Mountain Equipment Co-op for providing the prizes. Please patronize these great stores, particularly your local independent bike shop!


BIXI 1000 Members Party: Steam Whistle Brewery, Oct 18

As of today, Oct. 6, there are about 780 members of BIXI Toronto. The BIXI Toronto team is hosting a party to celebrate this accomplishment and help push the number over the top.

All Members are invited to bring a non-member to push us over the 1000 mark. So come to the Steam Whistle Brewery to eat great local food, and drink award-winning Steam Whistle beer. The only cost is your membership. Steam Whistle Brewery has kindly donated their venue for this great event.

The event will be at the Steam Whistle Brewery (next to the CN Tower), Monday October 18th, and doors open at 6:30pm. The event is free with a BIXI membership.

Send an RSVP to bixitoronto@toronto.ca Subject: BIXI Party.

By the way, if you see this image on the sidebar, copy it to your own blog or post it as your Facebook profile or Twitter profile. Include a link to toronto.bixi.com so people can find out more and sign up:

BIXI Toronto lunch and demos at your office - give them a call!

Did you know you can request "lunch and learns" from the BIXI team?

Presentations are held indoor within the host organization and last about 30 minutes. Afterwards, participants are invited to visit the BIXI Demo Station set up nearby. This will give participants a chance to see the station first-hand and try out a BIXI bicycle themselves.

This is a great way to get your employers interested in signing up for the corporate gift certificates. Your employer can pay half or all of the cost of the BIXI membership. You both come ahead, especially if it means you no longer have to park your car at work.

If you are interested please contact Erica at 416-392-1288 or bixitoronto@toronto.ca to schedule.

I Bike T.O. to give prize for the best BIXI video

BIXI Toronto is 300 short of the 1000 subscription target (getting there!) A bit more work needs to be done. A little bit more promotion can do some good, but we noticed there aren't a whole lot of videos showing the best of BIXI Toronto.

In order to encourage some better videos I Bike T.O. will give a $100 gift certificate (for a popular store still to be announced) to the person who makes the best video showing the best features of BIXI Toronto. The deadline is Wednesday, October 13 when we will decide the winner. Send links to your submissions through the contact form.

We will feature all videos on the site as they come in. We prefer that they be uploaded to Youtube, Vimeo, Blip.tv or similar services.

You might need to know where the next BIXI demos are going to be located. The demo locations and dates are listed on the BIXI Toronto page in Facebook as well as on BikeEvents.TO

Note that this is not an official BIXI Toronto contest, but just this blog's attempt to get better video.

Here's what's out there right now. Someone just posted this video that explains a bit of how BIXI works. I would have liked to see someone take the bike out and ride it and leave out all the bizarre transitions. Not bad, could be better.

Meeting for the first "Help Promote BIXI Toronto Working Group" - September 22 7pm at CSI


Stencil and photo by Janet Bikegirl.

You have probably heard this already (especially on this blog): BIXI, the wildly popular bikesharing system (now in London, UK and Washington DC!), is coming to Toronto but only if 1000 people sign up for the year membership by the end of November. So far almost 600 people have signed up. Come out to this inaugural meeting for the "Help Promote BIXI Toronto Working Group", hosted by the Toronto Cyclists Union and myself. Show up with your thinking cap to the fourth floor of the Centre for Social Innovation, 215 Spadina Ave.

If you find bikesharing important for Toronto and looking for a way to help promote it, come out to the Help Promote BIXI Toronto Working Group. This is a citizens group that hopes to help the city promote membership.

In order to meet the goal, we (Toronto Cyclists Union members) feel the community will need to find a way to help promote it to their friends, family and colleagues. We will explore ways to get the message out and the best strategies for encouraging individuals and businesses to sign up.

BIXI Toronto reaches 500 members almost a year before it launches

BIXI Toronto memberships have reached 500 as of September 1st! This is a reason to celebrate! Why? Despite news reports suggesting this is a "lukewarm response", we are still nine months before the launch date and 3 months before the requirement to get 1000 memberships. They've also made the threshold high by only selling yearly memberships - the monthly memberships would have allowed many more people to dip their toes in the water before diving in.

City Hall made it quite difficult for bikesharing to get off the ground: they're providing no money to get it started, and even to get a loan guarantee (which only allows BIXI to get a better interest rate from private banks) City Hall made a number of harsh requirements. BIXI Toronto has reached the half-way mark after only one month out of 4 months.

With a bit perspective we can see that this is in fact remarkable that BIXI Toronto already has 500 members and over 1300 fans on the Facebook page. It's clearly popular. What other company selling a product requires that people purchase the product a year before it comes out? Only Apple fans would be crazy enough to do that.

Soon to see the lion on BIXI Toronto bikes: ING DIRECT announced as primary sponsor

ING Direct Canada's lion will appear on the BIXI Toronto bikes next spring, as they've signed on as the primary sponsor of the bikesharing program. Mayor Miller and Public Bike System Company reps announced ING this morning.

“Public bike systems like BIXI can significantly reduce the cost of commuting and make a healthy impact on our cities and our lives,” said Peter Aceto, President and CEO of ING DIRECT Canada. “We are always excited to help Canadians save their money so being a part of bringing BIXI to the Toronto community is a great fit for ING DIRECT.”

No word on what percentage of the sponsorship needed is being provided by ING, though I was assured it was a substantial proportion. BIXI Toronto is required to raise $600,000 for each of the next three years.

In related news, ING Direct has also sponsored the custom painted, Toronto Cyclists Union bike giveaway. Is it a coincidence that this Dutch company is supporting cycling in a big way?

Some things to know about BIXI

From the Open FIle, here are seven things Torontonians need to know about BIXI and how it works in Montreal:

  1. It's about frequent short trips, hence the pricing. Toronto fees are expected to be the same or similar to Montreal's, where subscriptions cost $78 for one year, $28 for one month and $5 for one day. After that, there are usage fees to consider. The first 30 minutes of every ride is free. After that, the next 30 minutes cost $1.50. The following half hour costs $3. And every subsequent half hour sets you back $6. But very few users ever reach that point. Bixi is not for sightseeing. It's for getting from Point A to Point B. A survey shows half of Montreal users jump on Bixis to get to and from work or school. Some are taking lunchtime jaunts or using Bixi to meet friends across town or as an alternative to the bus when they get off the subway.
  2. You might not be able to return your bike at the first self-serve docking station you visit. It might be full. Don't panic. You'll be given 15 minutes of free time to reach another one. And stations are on average only 300 metres apart. A smart phone will help; you can check bike-dock availability online. In Montreal, this summer, some stations are filling up so quickly on weekday mornings that three "depot stations" were opened where commuters can hand bikes over to Bixi employees without the need to bother with a docking station.
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