The National Capital Commission has sold its bike-share program to a Florida company.
© Google Street View image
A Bixi stand near MacKenzie Avenue.
The now-bankrupt Montreal-based Public Bike System Company used to run the service using bikes and stations the NCC owned under the name Capital Bixi.
The new agreement, announced last week, will see Miami-based CycleHop take over management of the service and purchase its 250 bicycles and 25 stations from the Crown corporation.
The company, which operates bike-sharing services in Orlando, Tampa, Phoenix, Atlanta and Louisville, said in a press release that it plans to double the size of the service “within the next few years.”
No purchase price was released.
The NCC has been looking for a private company to take over the bike sharing program for some time. In January, NCC spokesman Jean Wolff told OBJ that the search process started in July, long before the full extent of PBSC’s financial troubles were known.
That company – which owes its creditors around $44 million – filed for bankruptcy protection in January.
Earlier this month, the company transferred all its bike-sharing assets in Montreal, including 5,120 bikes and 461 stations, to the City of Montreal. Bixi owes that municipality almost $40 million.
It also sold its international operations and intellectual property to Longueuil, Quebec-based businessman Bruno Rodi for $4 million. He is expected to fulfil two orders for bike-sharing systems that have not yet been delivered but not to retain any other systems.
The Toronto Parking Authority, which owns that city’s bicycle-sharing program, announced in late March that it was dropping the Bixi name and had hired Portland, Oregon’s Alta Bicycle Share to run the system.
While the NCC said the change will be “seamless” it gave no specifics on when bicycles will be back on the streets – only saying that the service “will resume by the summer.” Capital Bixi was originally scheduled to re-launch this month.