Toronto, Canada just might finally get a new bike-share system. After on again - off again negotiations for over a year, the Toronto City government is close to signing an agreement with Public Bike System (PBS) of Montréal, Canada to set up a 1000 bike, 80 station program to start a year from now in May 2011. According to cyberpresse.ca, Public Bike System will pay the $4.8 million to install the system and cover the $1.3 million projected yearly operating cost. In return, PBS is asking for Toronto to guarantee the investment until usage fees and advertising revenue cover the initial cost. After that, all revenue from the system, above the operating cost, would be shared between Toronto and PBS.
Also in Canada, Montréal wakes up its BIXI system from its winter hibernation earlier than originally planned. More than half of the system's stations will be operational on April 20, 2010 in anticipation of the 40th anniversary of Earth Day.
This week bike-sharing began in Valence, France and announced in Valence, Spain.
Libélo began service to Valence and it’s surrounding towns in the Sud Rhône-Alps part of France. The system has two parts: Regular bike-sharing with 160 bikes in 18 stations using the Smoove “Key” system (Bike-sharing Blog September 21, 2009) where the first 30 minutes usage is at no charge. The daily rate is around US$ 1.35 and the yearly subscription is US$ 20. Long-term bike-sharing is available with 200 bikes which can be kept for 3 to 11 months at a charge of around US$ 15 per month. These bikes are not available at the stations.
Valencia, Spain (Valence in French) signed an agreement with JCDecaux to begin a 2750 bike program with 275 stations. This Cyclocity bike-sharing system is tied to a new 20 year street furniture advertising contract with the city. This is the 5th Cyclocity system for JCDecaux in Spain.
In preparation of the Shanghai Expo 2010 “Better City Better Life,” the Shanghai bike-share & bike rental system, Rent Me a Bicycle, is expanding for the May opening of the Expo. At least 40 new stations or “Bicycle Hot Spots” will be near the Expo area to service the nearly 70 million expected visitors. The bikes are accessed by a stored value RFID (radio frequency identification) card which serves as a deposit and gives 100 ride credits for around US$ 30. Very short rides, after re-docking the bike, are rewarded by adding credits to the card conversely, keeping the bike for longer periods will subtracts credits. The Shanghai Rent Me a Bicycle system plans to expand to 3500 “Bicycle Hot Spots” throughout the entire city by 2012.