News / Toronto

Toronto Bike Share looking to expand beyond city limits

Bike-sharing service eyeing big expansion as part of $4.9-million deal with Metrolinx.

City officials say Bike Share works best for short trips in areas with high density. They’re ready, though, to test its popularity in areas outside the core.

Liz Beddall/Metro

City officials say Bike Share works best for short trips in areas with high density. They’re ready, though, to test its popularity in areas outside the core.

Cyclists throughout the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area may soon see Toronto’s bike share stations popping up across the region.

The Toronto Parking Authority, which runs Bike Share, is asking city council for permission to expand the network outside city limits.

Right now, the network stops at Ossington Avenue in the west, Parliament Street to the east, and Bloor Street to the north. The parking authority is also planning an expansion within the city in the next couple of months.

Moving outside Toronto would come after that with bike stations placed at transportation hubs and shopping hubs throughout the GTHA, said Marie Casista a vice-president of the Toronto Parking Authority.

All cities involved will need to sign off.

“It would be a pilot project,” Casista said. “Whether we’ll be able to operate successfully there we’re not sure yet, but we’re certainly going to give it a try.”

The regional plans are part of a$4.9 million deal the parking authority signed with Metrolinx, said Casista. Metrolinx is buying bikes and bike docks, and the parking authority will operate them within Bike Share.

For now, the parking authority would like to see Presto cardholders get a discount on Bike Share memberships.

In the long-term, the agencies are exploring the use of Presto cards for payment and fare integration.

Hamilton already has a bike share operating, and the parking authority would like to work alongside it, Casista said.