Bike Share Toronto

Toronto's Bike Share program is a great option for exploring the city

Toronto Bike Share Station in front of Hotel Ocho
Toronto Bike Share Station in front of Hotel Ocho cc licensed photo by Amanda Sherrington

One efficient way to get around downtown Toronto that is both healthy and environmentally friendly is a bike program called Bike Share. This system is brilliantly set up to help commuters and visitors who want to maneuver around the city without having to drive through all the heavy traffic. Not only is this a fun way to get around it's also good exercise, perhaps the perfect compromise between walking and using other forms of public transportation.

The bike exchange program is set-up for short trips making it very affordable. The way it works is you pay by credit card at the kiosk and ride to the station closest to your destination. There you park and lock the bike up for the next person to use.

There are a multitude of stations; 80 of them throughout downtown Toronto. Bicycles can be returned to any one of them making this very efficient and convenient for those commuting, but also great for visitors and casual users as well. This creates an entire chain of accessible connections and combinations of arrival and departure points.

The bike stations are accessible 24 hours a day throughout the year. Exceptions may occur during inclement weather as safety is a priority.

Bike Share bicycles are built to endure many riders, therefore their frames are sturdier and heavier than those that you would use for long trips. Meant to get you from the start of your destination to the finish without any issues, they are regularly maintained by qualified mechanics and have safety features such as front and rear lights, bells, fenders and chain guards to help protect clothing.

Anyone wanting to take advantage of this program has a few different options to choose from. There is annual membership for $90 or a monthly plan for only $18; ideal for Toronto residents, people working downtown and commuters. Visitors to the city will probably want to take advantage of the 24-hour access pass for only $7 or the 72 hour pass for just $15. With any of these passes riders can take as many trips as they want during their validity period with each ride lasting up to 30 minutes. There are additional fees for those that keep the bikes longer than the allotted 30 minutes per journey, but with so many docking stations so close together it is rarely a problem to dock a bike and then take out another within the 30 minute limit.

Those who wish to take a bike out must be 16 years of age or older. If under the age of 18 you must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. In Toronto if you are under 18 years of age cyclists are required by law to wear a helmet and are encourage to bring their own.

Official Website: http://www.bikesharetoronto.com




Video explaining the BIXI Bike (now called Toronto Bike Share) Program

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