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SkyTrain extends morning rush hour service to give cyclists a break

SkyTrain extends morning rush hour service to give cyclists a break

This just in: SkyTrain is going to extend its rush hour service in the morning to allow more cyclists to board! The extended service started this morning. Here’s the details from our press release:

Bicyclists who choose SkyTrain as part of their TravelSmart commute will now get the benefit of morning peak-period service levels. Bikes have been allowed on the Expo and Millennium SkyTrain lines since 2006, except during the morning rush hour (start of service until 9am) going towards downtown Vancouver and in the afternoon rush hour (4-6pm) leaving Vancouver.

Recently, a cycling customer brought it to our attention that SkyTrain begins reducing service to “mid-day” levels right at the start of the “bikes OK” time. During the morning rush hour, trains run every 4 minutes from King George to Waterfront Station and every 108 seconds along the combined Expo/Millennium Line between Columbia and Waterfront Stations. But after 9am, frequency is reduced to every 6 minutes out of King George and 3 minutes on the combined stretch.

On hearing from the customer, BCRTC monitored the service situation and has now decided to keep three trains, which would normally come out of service at 9am, in service for one more run each from King George to Waterfront Station. This will effectively maintain near rush hour service along that line for an additional 15 minutes and provide an extra 18 to 36 bike spaces.

“We’re seeing here the flexibility of SkyTrain’s driverless system,” says Doug Kelsey, President of BCRTC and Executive Vice-President of TransLink. “We heard this customer’s legitimate concern, saw there was a solution and were able to say ‘let’s do it’.”

The enhanced service also gives commuters more options for avoiding the “peak of the peak” by delaying their morning commute – another TravelSmart strategy.

Through TravelSmart, TransLink supports cycling as a sustainable transportation option, working with organizations such as the Vancouver Area Cycling Coalition to promote Bike To Work Week (Nov. 1-7, 2010), and investing in cycling infrastructure such as the Central Valley Greenway and the Canada Line Pedestrian/Bike Bridge. SkyTrain, SeaBus, West Coast Express and the entire bus fleet are now equipped to carry bikes and bicycle lockers are available at many SkyTrain stations.