Capital Health staff, physicians and volunteers can now hop on a bike when travelling between the Halifax Infirmary and Victoria General sites at the QEII Health Sciences Centre.
Chris Power, president and CEO of the Capital District Health Authority, said the new initiative is to promote a healthier life style, and get people to stop driving or grabbing a bus between the two locations.
“We’ve been talking about this for a long time,” she said. “This is a fun way to do it, there are baskets on the bikes so we can take our briefcases and purses to get us going, so we’re really pumped about it.”
This is considered a pilot project for what Capital Health representatives say should become a larger part of an everyday healthy life for their staff.
“It’s a nice ride,” Power said. “But we’re going to work with the city to try to get more and more bike lanes.”
The distance between the two hospital sites is slightly more than a kilometre, or about a 10-minute walk.
Employees need only show their identification cards and then they can take a bicycle or tricycle to either site.
The bicycles are supplied by Sportwheels in Lower Sackville free of charge, along with free maintenance.
A group of about 40 cyclists including Capital Health employees, Halifax Regional Police and other biking enthusiasts tested out the route yesterday along Bell Road and South Park Street.
Bob White of the Nova Scotia Ramblers Bicycle Club gave the riders a quick safety tutorial before they left for the Victoria General.
“What you’re doing right now is a wonderful thing,” he said. “To see something like this is absolutely huge, it’s making a very positive statement, not only on health but also on lifestyle.”