With a new bike bus, TransLink hopes to make things easier for Metro Vancouver cyclists taking a ferry to Vancouver Island. Meanwhile, the City of Victoria has launched a new bike valet service downtown.
TransLink says its bike bus will operate during the summer between Bridgeport Station in Richmond and the Tsawwassen ferry terminal.
The retrofitted buses will have capacity for nine bikes — seven more than standard buses — and 18 passengers.
The bus will follow the existing 620 route, which is popular with cyclists, and have separate loading and unloading bays at Bridgeport Station and Ladner Exchange. The bus' display will read '900 Bike Bus' to either Bridgeport Station or Tsawwassen ferry.
From July 1 to Sept. 5, the bus will operate on Fridays, weekends and holidays from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. with hourly departures that align with ferry sailings.
TransLink says there is a possibility for the buses to run every summer.
Jordan Knutsen with B.C. Ferries says they carried more than 77,000 bicycles independent of a vehicle across the network in the last fiscal year. More than 15,000 of those bikes travelled through the Tsawwassen terminal.
TransLink CEO Kevin Quinn says the bike bus fits with its climate action strategy.
"By seamlessly combining cycling with transit, the bike bus is just one of many ways that we are reducing our carbon footprint," he said.
A valet for bikes, scooters, strollers
On Friday, the City of Victoria launched a bike valet pilot, where cyclists will be able to park their bikes for free at a secure location at city hall near the Pandora Avenue cycling route.
Cyclists using the service will have an attendant give them a tag number and their bike will be securely locked. Push scooters, strollers and other modes of active transportation are also welcome.
Mayor Lisa Helps says the pilot is a response to the significant increase in people cycling into the downtown area.
"People want to come downtown with their kids, they want to spend the day or come down to work and have a safe, secure place to keep their bikes," Helps said.
The valet service will operate from 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m Monday to Thursday, and 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m Friday.
It will also operate from 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Sunday.