Teaming Your Bike Route With Transit

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Bike Rack On Vancouver Transit Bus. Photo Courtesy of Oran Viriyincy via Flckr

With Bike to Work Week just behind us, there is a lot of hype about biking to work. But what if your commute is out of your cardio range? It is one thing to hop on your bike if you live within 5 km of work, but what about those people who live in North Vancouver, Richmond, Burnaby or other areas outside of Vancouver and work in Vancouver proper?

I started to research options and have discovered that Translink offers a variety of options and solutions to meet everyone’s bike stamina.

  • All buses are equipped with bike racks
  • Bikes are allowed on all SkyTrains and the Sea Bus
  • SkyTrain stations have bike racks for short-term storage and bike lockers for long-term storage.
  • Bicycles are allowed on the West Coast Express
  • Train buses also allow bikes to be stored in the luggage compartment under the bus

These options allow for plenty of green combinations to get to work or meet up with friends without having to drive a car. Don’t want to have helmet head when you arrive to work? Take transit all the way with your bike riding along – and then cycle all the way home on the return trip.

Translink has put together a strategy for increasing and improving cycling in the lower mainland that encompasses over 22 municipalities. Although, they have a great start on making cycling an easy fit with transit, the system is not without limitations:

  • Buses can only take two bikes at a time, limiting bike riders from maximizing on time savings.
  • The SkyTrain system has different rules depending on the route and time.
  • Bikes are not allowed on the Expo or Millennium trains during some peak transit times. This is severely limiting to cyclists during rush hour commutes – one of the most desirable times to actually ride a bike to work to avoid rush hour traffic.
  • Bike lockers are not available at all stations and must be rented by the month.
  • SkyTrain cars are so jammed, that getting a bike on and off the train is impossible.

For all the rules and good transit etiquette, visit the Translink Rider Guide.

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