Toronto’s Bike Plan sees special racks on all new buses
Those TTC customers who enjoy frequent and extensive transit service may not think of the bicycle as a useful addition to their work or recreation trips.
And many motorists in the GTA consider any other option to driving as inconvenient — an attitude that results in more energy use, pollution, and sprawl.
However, as the City of Toronto’s Bike Plan puts it, “If bikes and transit work as a team, they make a formidable alternative to the car.”
So what’s happening to bring these two eco-friendly modes together?
After a test project last year, the TTC has decided to put special bike racks on the front of all new buses, although not on older vehicles.
Seven routes are now equipped, including along Bathurst and Dufferin streets, which traverse Highway 401 — a daunting obstacle for some cyclists. To see all the routes, look for “Bike Racks on Buses” at www.ttc.ca.
According to TTC chair Adam Giambrone, about 400 buses should have racks by year’s end.
He says, “Over the next couple years, we are receiving a fairly large number of new buses,” and by 2009 over half the TTC’s fleet could be equipped.
Only then would the commission pay to retrofit older buses with racks.
He says, “I think you’re going to see usage on our bike rack system surge once we have the majority of the system outfitted.”
For riders who prefer to arrive at the subway under their own power, Giambrone says the TTC may place new enclosed bike lockers at 25 to 30 subway stops this year. At first, there may not be much more than five or six at each location.
“As demand grows and if space is available — it depends on the station — we could see a lot more,” he says.
For more details, including TTC rules for bikes on the subway, go to www.toronto.ca/cycling. To find out about taking bicycles on GO Transit, or which train stations have bike parking racks, see the “FAQ” page at www.go-transit.com.
Want to go on a scenic two-wheeled trip outside the GTA, but don’t have one of those handy foldable bicycles?
This summer, VIA Rail will test out bike racks aboard certain weekend trains to Niagara Falls.
Several major government and tourism bodies have launched the Toronto-Niagara Bike Train Initiative.
Justin Lafontaine, who proposed the idea, says in just two hours this trial service can deliver urban bicyclists to what is “arguably one of the best cycling regions in Canada.” Book at www.biketrain.ca.