TORONTO, July 6, 2015 /CNW/ - Today, Metrolinx and the Toronto Parking Authority (TPA) announced a partnership to expand Bike Share Toronto. The expansion will more than double the size of the current network to allow more people to take advantage of seamless transportation options. This is a significant step in advancing the TPA's commitment to create a world-class bike sharing system for Torontonians.
"We know that cycling generates a broad range of economic, environmental, health, social and other benefits, which helps build healthy, more active and prosperous communities," said Steven Del Duca, Minister of Transportation. "This initiative supports #CycleON: Ontario's Cycling Strategy, which aims to encourage the growth of cycling and improve safety for cyclists across the province."
Through the partnership, Metrolinx will purchase $4.9 million worth of bikes and docking stations to expand the existing Bike Share Toronto network.
"The expansion of Bike Share Toronto will provide residents with more accessible methods of getting around town, helping ease congestion on our already busy roadways," said Deputy Mayor Denzil Minnan-Wong. "I'd like to thank the Province of Ontario for investing in Toronto and helping double the fleet of bikes that will be available to Bike Share in Toronto."
The new Toronto bikes and stations will be deployed by December 2016. They will be located close to transit stations and in dense areas where demand is likely to be strong, which helps connect users to transit in the first and last kilometres of their journeys.
"We are excited to be partnering with the TPA to expand bike sharing across the region," said Bruce McCuaig, President and CEO of Metrolinx. "A key component of our regional transportation plan is to get people moving and seamlessly connect them to transit. Bike sharing is an excellent example of this."
"Bike Sharing has become a global reality and we are delighted that our partnership with Metrolinx will give more Torontonians the opportunity to take advantage of Bike Share Toronto's benefits," said Michael Tziretas, Toronto Parking Authority Board Chair. "The TPA is proud to run a world-class parking system and we will continue to bring the same commitment to Bike Share Toronto."
The majority of the expansion is slated for the City of Toronto, but the agreement also provides for some bikes and docking stations to be set up in a willing host municipality within the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area. This part of the agreement is a two-year pilot program to be implemented by December 2017.
As part of the partnership, the TPA will source and deploy the bikes and docking stations while Metrolinx will own them. The TPA will continue to operate Bike Share Toronto as it currently does.
Bike Share Toronto currently has more than 4,000 active users.
Metrolinx is an agency of the Government of Ontario. The goal of Metrolinx's regional transportation plan is to provide residents and businesses in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area with fast, convenient and integrated transit. Working through its divisions — GO Transit, PRESTO, and Union Pearson Express — Metrolinx is transforming the way the region moves. For more information, visit www.metrolinx.com.
About the TPA:
The Toronto Parking Authority is a self-sustaining public corporation owned by the City of Toronto. It contributes significant revenues to the City's general reserves while successfully meeting its mandate to provide safe, attractive, conveniently located and competitively priced off- and on-street public parking, required by commercial strips and neighbouring residential areas to survive. Recognized as a world leader in parking technology services, the Parking Authority has been successful in ensuring that businesses in these areas continue to grow and neighbourhoods remain vibrant.
For further information: and interview requests, please contact: Vanessa Barrasa, Metrolinx Media Relations, (416) 230-3732, firstname.lastname@example.org; Rita Mezzanotte, Toronto Parking Authority Communications, (416) 271-0667, email@example.com