TD Canada has stepped in as a corporate sponsor of Toronto’s once-struggling bike share program, pledging to cover the program’s operational costs for the next two years.
This infusion of operating dollars has the parking authority and the mayor optimistic for future expansion of the system.
“The bike share program [Torontonians have] come to love is here to stay,” Mayor John Tory said at the announcement Tuesday morning.
Twenty new stations will be added in 2015 to service visitors to the Pan Am Games, according to the Toronto Parking Authority, who administer the program after taking it over from Montreal-based Bixi in April. No specific locations were mentioned.
Tory has made a series of announcements geared at improving transit in the city since taking office Dec. 2. He touted the bike sharing agreement as a continuation of those measures, including a gridlock plan, all-door boarding on the King streetcar, and an accelerated work plan for his SmartTrack proposal.
“Great cities have an integrated transportation system that includes cycling, and Toronto should be no different,” Tory said.
Tory did not disclose the exact amount of the deal, though he hinted it was a large amount.
“We wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t a significant sum,” Tory said.
— TD (Canada) (@TD_Canada) December 9, 2014
Tory called on other businesses to “step up” with similar sponsorships.
“It’s one example of the kind of partnership I’d like to see flourish,” Tory said.
“There’s no downside to it. They’ve not asked us to put bank propaganda on the side of bikes. It is benefiting and stabilizing this program.”