Bike Bus: TransLink renovates 4 buses by removing seats for bike racks
TransLink has retrofitted the interiors of four buses to serve as bike storage vehicles, and these will specifically follow route #620 between SkyTrain Bridgeport Station and BC Ferries’ Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal.
The passenger seats between the front door and the rear door of each bus (more than half of the seats) have been removed and replaced with seven interior bicycle racks. In addition to the bicycle racks at the front of the bus, this brings the total bicycle storage capacity to nine bicycles per bus.
A total of 17 passenger seats will remain in the rear of each bus, behind the rear rear door. Another seat is available behind the driver’s seat. All passengers must be seated; there is no standing capacity on this bus.
Children’s or BMX bikes are not permitted for indoor bike racks as they will not fit, and these buses are no longer able to accommodate wheelchairs or other mobility devices.
As a pilot project for this summer only, the Bike Bus will operate on a seasonal basis between July 1 and September 5, 2022, Fridays, weekends and public holidays only – between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., with hourly departures lined up on the ferry. departures to Swartz Bay (Victoria).
“The return of warm weather means more people are cycling to their favorite destinations in British Columbia,” TransLink CEO Kevin Quinn said in a statement. “We are excited to launch the Bike Bus as it will better connect our customers to one of Metro Vancouver’s most popular routes for summer travel and allow them to easily explore our beautiful region.
For safety reasons, cyclists are not permitted to travel on Highway 99 to use the George Massey Tunnel and are currently dependent on the provincial government’s free shuttle service to travel from one end of the tunnel to the other . TransLink’s Bike Bus on this route is intended to provide more space for cyclists to reach the ferry terminal via the George Massey Tunnel using public transit.
TransLink chose this route because #620 ranks second in the entire bus system for using bike racks, and this new service will help ensure that cyclists aren’t left behind when they try to board a bus.
While the Bike Bus will follow route #620, it will be posted as Bike Bus #900, with separate loading and unloading docks at Bridgeport Station and Ladner Exchange. This No. 900 bike bus will be hard to miss visually, as the exterior of the buses have a new purple and turquoise livery to make them stand out.
While four buses have been retrofitted, only two will be in service at any given time, while the other two will be used as spares.
TransLink encourages non-cyclist passengers to use normal No. 620 services to ensure that cyclists have enough space on their dedicated bus.
The Bike Bus is part of TransLink’s recently announced Customer Experience Action Plan, a strategy to improve and add amenities to its services.
If the Bike Bus is heavily used this summer, it could become a permanent seasonal route in the future.