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Bixi Toronto bike rental service turns 1

Bixi Toronto is celebrating its first anniversary with events at several bike rental stations around the city.

The celebrations for the popular bike rental service featured a stunt rider, gifts and giveaways for Torontonians at five bike stations.

Spokesman Michel Philibert said the program has been a success, attracting 5,176 members who took more than 550,000 trips in the first year.

The bike-sharing program in Toronto gets five members per bike, compared to Bixi Minneapolis with four members and Bixi Melbourne with 2.5, he said.

“The City of Toronto is well designed for bike sharing because it’s very dense,” he told CityNews. “There’s no hills in Toronto. It’s a bike-friendly city.”

The Bixi program allows riders to pick up a bike from a fleet of 1,000 and drop it off at any one of 80 downtown hubs. That means you can pick up a bike at one station and when you’re done riding, you can drop it off at another.

The service is available in 10 cities, including Montreal and Ottawa, as well as London, Melbourne and Washington, D.C.

Looking ahead, Philibert said he wants to expand the Bixi system beyond the downtown core and is currently in talks with city officials to have more stations and bikes.

The city guaranteed Bixi’s $4.5 million loan and helped find the bike station locations before it launched the service last year, he said.