Bike Share Toronto and CAA South Central Ontario bring back Free Ride Wednesdays in September

Today, Mayor John Tory was joined by Councillor James Pasternak, Chair of the Infrastructure and Environment Committee, Robin Oliphant, Toronto Parking Authority (TPA) Acting President and Rhonda English, Chief Marketing Officer, CAA South Central Ontario to announce the return of Free Ride Wednesdays in September.

Thanks to the new Bike Share Toronto - CAA South Central Ontario partnership, Bike Share Toronto riders will ride for free every Wednesday in the month of September. Riders can take out a bike for up to 30 minutes, return the bike to any station, and take out another bike for an additional free 30-minute ride.

Today Bike Share also launched the pedal assist electric-bike (e-bike) pilot program, announced earlier this summer as a new feature of Bike Share Toronto’s 2020 expansion. The e-bikes will be available in the system starting today, and the 10 e-bike charging stations for the pilot will be installed over the next several weeks. E-bike charging stations will be able to charge 20-25 bikes at each station.

The e-bikes will allow users to travel a maximum of 25 kilometers and can travel up to 70 kilometers without requiring a charge. E-bike charging stations are fully compatible with the rest of the bike share system, allowing both manual bikes and e-bikes to be docked in any station. E-bikes will be picked up by operators throughout the date to ensure that they are being charged for the next day. Once the e-bikes are charged, operators will leave them at one of the 10 e-bike charging stations across the city.

In an effort to prioritize health and safety, Bike Share Toronto has ramped up its cleaning program during the COVID-19 crisis. As bikes are regularly in use and exposed to the environment, Bike Share continues to strongly recommend that riders take the steps outlined in the City of Toronto’s COVID-19 Health Advisory when using the system. The best way to prevent infection is to follow the recommended personal hygiene measures by cleaning your bike before use.

Take advantage of Bike Share Toronto’s Free Ride Wednesdays in September!

  • Download the PBSC/CycleFinder app or visit the Bike Share Toronto website to find a station near you.
  • Go to any of the 625 bike share stations between 12:01 a.m. and 11:59 p.m. on one of the five Wednesdays in September.
  • Select “Buy a pass” on the kiosk touch screen and select “$0 One-Day”, then insert your credit card and follow the on-screen instructions. You can also obtain your pass on Transit or PBSC/CycleFinder by selecting “Purchase Access Pass” on the apps. There is a refundable $20 deposit per bike.
  • After completing the transaction, type in the code you received into the keypad on the left side of the docking point of the bike of your choice.
  • Go out and explore Toronto for up to 30 minutes. Fees will apply if ride is over the allotted 30 minutes.
  • Return your bike to any station.
  • Take out another bike for a free 30-minute ride as many times as you like.
Learn more about Free Ride Wednesdays: https://bikesharetoronto.com/.

Quick Facts:

Bike Share Toronto

  • Bike Share Toronto now in 20 Wards covering 200 square kilometres of the city.
  • Riders can buy a 24-hour day pass for $7, and have it all day without overage charges, (provided it is docked every 30 minutes), or purchase the single fare for 3.25 plus tax.
  • Short term passes can be purchased on a smartphone using PBSC/CycleFinder, the official app of Bike Share Toronto. Purchase annual passes for $99 ($8.25/month) at https://bikesharetoronto.com/.
  • The highest ridership day of all time was August 8, 2020, with 23,436 rides.
  • Bike Share Toronto system hit a new record on August 8 and 9, 2020, with the highest number of rides in a single weekend. There were over 42,500 trips taken on those days.
  • In the last 12 months, year over year ridership has increased by 20 per cent, from 2,186,916 rides to 2,633,666 rides. (August 11, 2018 to August 10, 2019, compared to August 11, 2019 to August 10, 2020).
  • Year over year, for the seven months ending July 31, Bike Share Toronto membership has increased to 186,897 up 76 per cent from 105,926.
Pedal Assist e-bikes
  • There is no additional cost to use the pedal assist electric bicycles (e-bikes).
  • E-FIT bikes can be recharged in the field in designated electric bike charging stations or in the operations warehouse.
  • To ensure e-bikes are powered from low-polluting sources, e-bikes will be rebalanced for recharging purposes during official off-peak times, between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m.
  • Over the last 12 months, E-bikes have been introduced in other North American cities including Montreal, Calgary and Detroit.
CAA Members Exclusives
  • CAA members receive four free rides when they purchase 10 rides.
  • CAA On the Move members (Membership for those who don’t need roadside assistance) receive exclusive access to offers such as 25 per cent off an annual Bike Share Toronto membership plus receive five free rides for friends and family.
Quotes:

“Free Ride Wednesday is a great way for residents to explore the city and to become familiar with the Bike Share system. Cycling has increasingly become a mode of transportation for people in this city to use and to get around. Our city is committed to investing in our cycling infrastructure by creating new bike lanes and investing in the Bike Share expansion to ensure that residents have opportunities to cycle across the city. I encourage residents to hop on a bike and take advantage of this year’s Free Ride Wednesdays during the month of September.”

- Mayor John Tory

“We are proud to sponsor Free Ride Wednesdays for the third year in a row. CAA has a strong history of encouraging cycling and advocating for cycling safety in communities. This initiative allows us to give back to our Members and communities in a meaningful way that aligns with CAA's longstanding history of supporting cycling. Bike Share Toronto is not only a great resource, they are also a great partner.”

- Rhonda English, Chief Marketing Officer, CAA South Central Ontario

“We are grateful to CAA SCO for their continued support of Bike Sharing and their new commitment to a multi-year partnership with Bike Share Toronto. CAA has made important contributions to cycling safety in Ontario. Their partnership with us is another example of that commitment.”

- Robin Oliphant, Toronto Parking Authority Acting President

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