Bikes on Buses.

How do we get more bums on buses. With the increased public awareness of climate change, one of the many questions received by City Hall is how can we improve public transit in Guelph.

A question posed recently was can the City of Guelph have bicycle racks on their city buses. This would allow transit users to ride their bike to a bus stop, load their bike and travel across town.

Here is a condensed version of Guelph Transit’s response to this question:

“About eight years ago when Bike Racks were relatively new to the transit industry, Transit Services in consultation with the Transit Advisory Committee reviewed the issue. At that time, a decision was made not to proceed for the following reasons;

– with limited time available in the operating schedule, the time required to load and unload bicycles would delay the service
– the added length of the bus would affect the turning radius which is problematic on many of the existing routes.
– there were very few (if any) requests for bike racks
– it was felt the costs to add this feature would outweigh the benefit.

Since that time we have had very few requests for bike racks. Having said that, we can certainly revisit the issue. Although the running time on our current schedules remains extremely tight, there may be new racks available that would address some of the previously identified concerns.”

0 thoughts on “Bikes on Buses.

  1. As both a bike user and bus rider in Guelph, I would love to see the addition of bike racks in our city. A quick google search on the topic showed that Toronto, Owen Sound and very recently Burlington have bike racks on their city buses. Surely we can figure it out here in Guelph. Check this web site out to see what’s happening in Burlington.

    Perhaps some liaising with the Councils/ Transit staff in these Cities would give some insight.

    I am aware of how tight the time lines are for the buses to complete their loops. Perhaps there should be some consideration given to adjusting the timing of the bus loops so that we can encourage more bike riders.

    I imagine the bus drivers themselves would have some input on this (hopefully positive).

  2. Guelph Transit’s arguments against bike racks have been proven wrong many years ago. With 600 transit agencies in North America Guelph Transit is the exception not the rule. Put the bike racks on the buses.

  3. As someone who does without a car, I think that this might be an idea who’s time has come. It might help people who live in the outlining countryside use the bus service. Perhaps the transit system could agree to have racks on only some of the buses—the ones that service the periphery of the city.

    I think that there might be a good argument can also be made for getting bike racks on the inter-city buses. The time issue wouldn’t be a problem and it would really help people who live in the countryside use the bus service.

    Is there any chance that the Council could ask Grey Hound, etc, to put racks on their buses at the same time it was arguing for the city ones?

  4. As an avid member, and member of the Bike Patrol of the Guelph Off-Road Bike Association (GORBA), I too fully support the defense for bike racks on inter, as well as intra-city buses.

    Yes, our society has become so that they feel their cars (as well as their cell phones) are absolutely necessary — I have had employment in the past where, as a visiting nurse, my car was my means of transportation, from downtown Guelph, to countryside Erin. However, now as an employee at Grand River Hospital, I have the luxury of commuting with a co-worker who lives in my neighborhood. I also now have the option of cycling to work, and running my errands throughout the day on my bike, or taking the Grand River Transit system, and putting my bike in the rack on the front of the bus.

    It’s about time Guelph follow suit.

  5. As a person who rides the bus several days/week from one end of the city to the other, I would love to be able to ride my bike one way and bus it home, or at least have that option. I also think it would increase ridership. My husband rides everyday both ways but if he has too much to carry or is tired I have to go and pick him up- which defeats the environmental/ exercise goal. He’d take the bus if the bus would take his bike! I’ve watched this system work in KW where I drive for work and it appears to run very smoothly and quickly. Bikers are accustomed to lifting their bikes quickly and efficiently- it takes no more time than getting a stroller or a shopping cart onto the bus.

  6. Funny you should mention that… strollers are not actually permitted on Guelph buses — or at least, not open strollers; and you can’t safely carry a big folded stroller, a child (or two) and diaper bag etc. while boarding and getting off of a bus. I’ve tried. Maybe strollers would fit in a front rack too! Or maybe council can exercise their oversight and ask Guelph Transit simply to review its restrictive access policies. I think it’s true, though, the routes do need to be shorter before they will want to consider making any changes that could add time. Buses are going way, way too fast just to make it around the circuit as it is.

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