A push to dramatically expand the network of bike rental stations around Toronto is getting some air in its tires – and rolling out at the same time the city makes room for more cycling lanes.
The Toronto Parking Authority on Monday released details of its plan to double the size of its Bike Share Toronto program.
Bike Share will see 1,000 additional bicycles added to its fleet along with 120 more docks to pick them up at.
Existing locations are also getting a refresh, with the replacement of electronic components at the 81 pay stations and 1,500 bike spots to integrate them with the bigger network.
When the expansion is done by year’s end there will be 200 stations around the city, the TPA said.
The bike-share boom comes after the TPA inked a partnership last year with Metrolinx. The transit agency committed $4.9 million to bikes and stations, with most of that going to Toronto.
Advocate Jared Kolb with Cycle Toronto called the increase a “big step forward” for a service that “fills the gap between trips too close for transit, but too far to walk.”
Kolb added that city biking infrastructure should also expand with the quick-ride rental program.
“The growth of Bike Share Toronto should happen in lockstep with the growth of our cycling network,” he said in an email.
The TPA said the bikes and stations are being purchased from Quebec-based PBSC Urban Solutions, which has supplied bike-sharing programs around the world.
Toronto will see more bike spaces on the roads this year, as the existing lanes criss-crossing downtown are spread further out, and a proposal makes the rounds for a bike-lane pilot project on Bloor Street.