Transit Security is going to be donning some new wheels this summer.
No, not new patrol cars but bikes!
Six volunteers from the Transit Security team signed up and suited up to be a part of the project.
Jessica Hewitt from Coast Mountain Bus Company was able to literally ride along during their first day of training.
She was kind enough to tell the Buzzer all about it so we can all be in-the-know!
Read on for the inside scoop from Jessica and meet two members of the Bike Patrol team.
Today marks the launch of Transit Security’s new Bike Patrol trial in downtown Vancouver. Recently, I had the opportunity to experience what Bike Patrol training was all about as I headed out for a full day’s worth of in-class instruction and cycling drills.
As a recreational cyclist and a triathlon enthusiast, I jumped at the chance, but knew I’d be far from qualified to be riding around Vancouver’s downtown core. I sat in on the first day of intensive training, but staffers still had three more days left, including a night ride in downtown Vancouver and a final exam before each of the six Transit Security members were CAN-bike certified.
The four days of training covered everything from traffic skills, bike maintenance and hours on the saddle riding through pylons, jumping curbs, signalling, gearing and so much more!
Meet Transit Security Bike Patrol members, Jessica and Dave
For the Bike Patrol, it’s not just about learning the rules of the road. Employees have to work in hectic conditions with cars, foot traffic and other cyclists. General Security Patrol officers Jessica Stennes and Dave Partridge both volunteered to be part of the new Bike Patrol.
“It’s a great opportunity to get outside and be active, while working with employees and customers first hand,” said Jessica. “A lot of what we do involves working with the public and getting them where they need to go.”
For Dave, he’s no rookie when it comes to cycling. An avid road cyclist and mountain biker, he often hits the trails in Whistler and had no trouble riding through the pylon courses in training on the first day.
“Bike Patrol provides the operators and the public with another level of safety and customer service on the transit system,” said Dave. “I’ll be able to respond to situations efficiently in the downtown area while doing something I love.”
Having a more mobile security team will provide an opportunity to go places where security can be restricted by being in a car. This means they can work more closely with the 43 bus routes that travel through the downtown core, attend to the SeaBus and engage in proactive security activities. They aim to make our employees and customers more safe and secure. They’ll also act as an additional resource to answer customer questions during the busy summer tourist season.
As for me, I enjoyed brushing up on my bike skills and learning just what it takes to be part of Bike Patrol for a day. It’s a big job to ride amongst traffic, know all the ways to get around the downtown core, and be first responders to transit incidents. And, that’s only a small part of what Transit Security deals with on a daily basis.
Be on the lookout for Jessica and Dave and other Bike Patrol members in downtown Vancouver this summer.
Things to know:
- All six bikes were borrowed from Transit Police and were fitted to each rider.
- Bikes will be stored at Waterfront Station and each member of patrol will meet at Waterfront before each shift.
- No fair-weather riders! Bike Patrol will run rain or shine!
Thanks for riding along and filling us in, Jessica!
You can see the team in training, in uniform AND being a first responder on their very first day at a fire in New Westminster in the gallery below.
Keep your eyes peeled (they’re hard to miss with all that neon yellow!) for the team out on the streets, around buses and the SeaBus in downtown Vancouver this summer.