The City of Toronto has expanded its bikeshare network with 1,850 new bicycles and 160 new stations in an effort to help people get around during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Toronto Mayor John Tory revealed the expansion to the city’s existing bikesharing network during a press conference on Tuesday.
Along with the new bicycles and stations, the expansion also includes Bike Share Toronto‘s coverage doubling to 200 square kilometres. Further, pilot areas that each feature eight stations are being created in North York and Scarborough. The pilot locations cover Ward 6 (York Centre), Ward 7 (Humber River-Black Creek), Ward 24 (Scarborough-Guildwood), and Ward 25 (Scarborough-Rouge Park).
An e-bike sharing pilot program is also launching later this summer that includes 300 pedal assist e-bikes and 10 e-bike charging stations. The e-bikes will be capable of travelling at up to 25km per hour, can travel 70km on a single charge and will be compatible with the city’s standard bikesharing network. It currently remains unclear what manufacturer is supplying the e-bikes. The City of Toronto says more details regarding the e-bike pilot program will be announced in “the near future.”
The city says this expansion costs $11.25 million CAD, with $9 million coming from a previous commitment by the provincial government.
“Residents are looking for different and yet safe ways to get around the city and as we continue to respond to the pandemic and make our plans for the post-pandemic period residents want to go outside, they want to be active and they want to have those transportation alternatives. It is our job to make that happen,” said Toronto Mayor John Tory during a press conference.
A 24-hour bikeshare pass that doesn’t include overage charges as long as the bike is docked every 30-minutes costs $7. A single fare is priced at $3.25, with a three-day pass costing $15 and an annual membership being priced at $99.
Toronto says its bike-share network experienced the highest ridership ever on May 23rd, 2020 with 20,911 rides.
Despite Lime and Bird e-scooters appearing once again on Calgary streets amid the ongoing pandemic, it remains unclear if the scooter giants plan to expand to Toronto eventually. Lime’s Waterloo, Ontario e-scooter pilot ended on August 12th, with the city stating that it wants to work with the province to introduce more e-scooter friendly legislation. In Toronto, Bird launched a pilot project in 2019 in Toronto’s Distillery District that ran from September 5th to the 15th.
As it stands, e-scooters are not included in Toronto Public Health and Transportation Services’ ‘ActiveTO’ effort to offer more space for people walking and cycling
Source: City of Toronto