Bell Media saves Bixi bike program, kicks in $5-million to pay debt, expand

National Post | News

The City of Toronto has officially inked a “taxpayer friendly” deal to save the financially beleaguered bike share program and announced a modest expansion plan for 2014.

Bixi Toronto will continue to operate the downtown system of 80 stations until April, when the Toronto Parking Authority will take over.

The city has secured $5-million from Bell Media’s Astral division, in exchange for relieving it of its obligation to build 11 automated public toilets.

As the National Post reported last month, the money will go to paying off a $3.9-million debt that the city had guaranteed when the program launched, and which it was on the hook for when the Montreal-based Bixi hit financial trouble.

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The money will also establish a reserve fund to help put the system on “financially sound footing.” The TPA is also talking to a private company to operate the system, which the Post has…

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