On Wednesdays, we ride bikes. At least, that's the word for the month of September, thanks to the return of weekly free bike rentals from Bike Share Toronto.

The Free Ride Wednesdays series usually runs through the month of August, but this year, the no-charge opportunity is cruising Torontonians straight into autumn from September 2. This is the fourth year in a row that free bike rides have been offered in the city on a weekly-basis, thanks to the sponsorship of CAA South Central Ontario. 

“As Toronto continues to grow, it’s vital that we keep people moving,” Mayor John Tory said in a statement. “Free Ride Wednesdays is a great opportunity to explore the city and encourage more people to use this important service.”

Bikes can be rented out for 30 minutes at a time, which means cyclists must dock the rental within half an hour of retrieving it, otherwise they'll be charged. Once the initial rental has been returned, another can be taken out for 30 minutes more, and so on. 

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For cyclists who want to take advantage of this freebie, here's the run-down:

  • Download the PBSC/CycleFinder app or visit Bike Share Toronto to find a station near you.
  • Go to any of the 625 bike share stations between 12:01 am and 11:59 pm on any Wednesday in September.
  • Select “Buy a pass” on the kiosk touch screen, and select “$0 One-Day" -- 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. Take note: 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 the city, making sure you return your bike to any station within 30 minutes, and take out other bikes for free half-hour rides as many times as you'd like.
  • "To further encourage people to take advantage of [Bike Share Toronto] in our city, I am happy to announce the return of #FreeRideWednesdays during the month of September," Mayor John Tory said on Wednesday. "This is a great opportunity for people who haven’t used [Bike Share Toronto] yet to try it out."

    In addition to free bike rides, today Bike Share also launched the pedal assist electric-bike (e-bike) pilot program, which was announced earlier this summer as a new feature of Bike Share Toronto’s expansion for the year. Now available in the system, the e-bikes allow users to travel a maximum of 25 km, and can travel up to 70 km without requiring a charge. When a charge is needed, doing so will be possible at any of the pilots 10 e-bike charging stations.

    Each station will be able to accommodate between 20 and 25 bikes.

    In an effort to prioritize health and safety, Bike Share Toronto has enhanced cleaning practices. Riders are encouraged to follow recommendations from public health officials, practice personal hygiene measures, and clean bikes before use.