Getting around on two wheels is about to get easier as Toronto’s Bike Share program expands out to Etobicoke and Scarborough.
Standing outside Ubisoft Toronto‘s headquarters in The Junction, Mayor John Tory announced the expansion of the program beyond the downtown core.
“I am personally committed, as the mayor, to making sure this program is expanded to all parts of the city,” Tory told reporters on Wednesday.
“It starts with the first stations that we are locating in Etobicoke and Scarborough but there is much more to be done in making sure this is a citywide program.”
The addition of 70 new stations means Bike Share now has 270 stations, 2,750 bikes and 4,700 docking stations across the city.
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“This is about giving Toronto residents options to get around the city. An expanded bike share [program] is one more spoke in the wheel of the many transportation options that will keep Toronto moving and help us deal with, what has become, nightmarish traffic congestion,” Tory explained.
The new Bike Share Toronto locations will be in very close proximity to transit stations, subway stations and streetcar stops. Tory said the locations have been specifically designed to compliment the city’s transit map.
With Ontario transportation minister Steven Del Duca by his side, Tory made sure to give accolades to the backing of the provincial government in making this expansion possible.
“You don’t have to think back too far to the days when this program, as it was in many other cities, had its growing pains and it was in trouble … it took the transformative grant of the government of Ontario and their willingness to have Metrolinx play a role in the bike share program to get it on its feet, to get it stabilized and to start to grow it,” he said.
Tory said the expansion of the program shows there’s a demand for the service, which last month hit a record with nearly 11,000 rides in a single day.
Bike Share Toronto, which has nearly 9,000 active members, said 830,000 rides were taken last year. In May there were 110,096 rides — nearly double the number the same time last year.
In July, the service offered Free Ride Wednesdays, which allowed anyone to use a bike for free in 30 minute intervals.
For more information on Bike Share Toronto, including a full map and pricing, click here.