si-bixi-toronto

One thousand Bixi bicycles will be available for use in downtown Toronto starting May 3. (Bixi Toronto)

Torontonians will be able to make use of the Bixi bike sharing program starting May 3.

The City of Toronto said in a Tuesday release that some 1,000 bicycles would be available from 80 locations south of Bloor Street between Spadina Avenue and Jarvis Street. 

The city has yet to announce exactly where the bicycle stations will be located.

"The BIXI Toronto program is an exciting new cycling initiative that will encourage more bicycle trips in the downtown core," said Coun. Denzil Minnan-Wong, the chair of the public works and infrastructure committee in a statement.

The city said the program is designed to complement public transit and the bikes are intended primarily for one-way trips under 30 minutes.

A resident or visitor will be able to use the bikes for a fee of $95 a year, $40 per month or $5 per day. For rides up to 30 minutes, there are no additional fees. Rides that take between 30 minutes and 60 minutes will cost an extra $1.50, while rides from 60 to 90 minutes will cost $3.

City staff said that they may expand the program in the future if there is demand.

Montreal’s Public Bike System Company's Bixi system has been up and running since May 2009, and Ottawa is also launching the program later this year.

Similar systems have also been set up in Paris, Minneapolis and Barcelona.