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When the Bixi Toronto bicycle-sharing program launches in May 2011, bikes will be available at 80 locations around the downtown, south of Bloor Street between Spadina Avenue and Jarvis Street. ((Corinne Smith/CBC))

Toronto's bike-sharing program is officially a go after it signed up its 1,000th member Monday.

The city wanted this show of commitment before moving the bicycle taxi program known as Bixi Toronto moved forward.

When the program launches in May 2011, bikes will be available from 80 locations south of Bloor Street between Spadina Avenue and Jarvis Street.

A resident or visitor will be able to use one of the bikes for a fee of $78 a year, $28 per month or $5 per day.

City hall set a deadline of Nov. 30 to collect 1,000 membership pledges.

Toronto will guarantee a $4.8-million startup loan for Bixi and has to dig up $600,000 in sponsorship deals. But the city is not directly funding the program.

The Public Bike System Company runs a similar Bixi program in Montreal, which has about 5,000 bikes parked at about 400 stations across the city.

Similar programs operate in some European cities, including Paris and Barcelona, where people can pick up a bike, cycle, then drop it off at another bike station.