Exciting news in time for Bike to Work Week! Improvements to the BC Parkway are now complete, so grab your two-wheeler and go for a twirl. These improvements, made over the summer and into fall, will enhance safety and the overall experience for cyclists and pedestrians.
What is the BC Parkway?
The BC Parkway is a 26-kilometre, multi-use path that roughly parallels SkyTrain’s Expo Line, connecting Surrey City Centre, New Westminster, South Burnaby and Vancouver. It’s an important facility for pedestrians, cyclists and wheelchair users in the region as it makes it easy for pedestrians and cyclists to connect to all Expo Line stations and encourages multi-modal transportation.
Continual improvements to the facility help keep the parkway in good condition and increase the safety and accessibility of the path while allowing users to get around with greater ease.
Here’s a quick look at what we did:
Removed and re-graded three retaining walls near Gilley Avenue;
Removed the wood pedestrian bridge near Bonsor Avenue, raising the BC Hydro vault and re-graded the path; and
Replaced the wood-tie retaining wall near Patterson Station.
Before and after pictures of the work done near Patterson Station (left) and Bonsor Avenue (right)
Cycling isn’t just one of the healthiest ways to travel, but it’s also a pollution-free mode of transport. Did you know that cycling 10km each way to work would save 1500 kg of greenhouse gas emissions a year?!
You may or may not know that TransLink is responsible for much more than just transit. Our cycling program is vast and varied, covering everything from regional cycling initiatives to end-of-trip facilities and we’re committed to addressing many of the transportation challenges that Metro Vancouver faces today.
Our multimodal mandate
We’re responsible for providing cycling options in the region and connecting cycling to the wider transportation system of Metro Vancouver while supporting over 107,000 bike trips daily! Our long-term transportation strategy, TransLink 2040 sets goals for the kind of transportation future we want. Within the next 30 years, one of the goals is that most trips in Metro Vancouver will be made by transit, walking and cycling.
If we can reduce the distances driven in the region by 33 per cent by designing our communities and transportation systems to encourage half of our trips to be by walking, cycling or transit, everyone will benefit! This will reduce congestion, make travel more reliable, protect our climate by reducing our greenhouse gas emissions and by make roads safer.
Bicycle transportation system
Did you know that there are multi-use paths that make biking to and from destinations easier, safer and more accessible?
The BC Parkway– A 26-kilometre, multi-use path that roughly parallels the Expo SkyTrain Line, connecting Surrey City Centre, New Westminster, South Burnaby and Vancouver.
The Central Valley Greenway– A 24-kilometre route for cycling, jogging, walking, wheelchairs, skateboarding and blading that connect Vancouver with Burnaby and New Westminster
Every single vehicle in our bus fleet has racks for your bike. That’s right. You don’t have to leave your bike at home ever again! Check out this Buzzer blog post with a detailed video on how to take your bike on the bus and then test out your skills at our bike rack demo in North Vancouver or on your next transit trip!
Transit tip! Exit from the front door and let the driver know that you need to remove your bike.
Currently, our two bike parkades are located at Main Street-Science World Station and King George Station with more parkades en route soon. Bike Parkades are well-lit, indoor bicycle parking facilities where users can lock up their bike for the day. They provide secure and convenient access seven days a week to customers who enroll through their Compass Card.
Bike Parkades cost only one dollar a day, with fees capped at eight dollars a month. Check out our how-to video below! Register online for access by visiting www.translink.ca/bikeparkade.
FYI: In the next two years four more Bike Parkades will be opening at King Edward, Joyce, Commercial-Broadway and Metrotown stations!
Our TravelSmart team works with a variety of corporate and government partners to ensure that Metro Vancouverites are aware of smarter travel options.
TravelSmart partners with the following organizations to deliver our programs throughout the region:
HUB focuses on showing people that cycling is an attractive and healthy choice for everyone. Their annual spring and fall Bike to Work weeks celebrate bike commuting across Metro Vancouver. We also partner with HUB on their different programs such as their Bike Host orientation program and their Bike to Shop Days.
BEST provides bike valet services at events in Metro Vancouver such as Khatsalano Fest, Celebration of Light, Vancouver Whitecaps home games and the Gastown Grand Prix. The Bike Valet operates at many events that TransLink supports and this year they expect to park 30,000 bicycles at events across the Metro Vancouver region!
Mark your calendar and be part of the change and help make Metro Vancouver a happier, healthier place to live, work and play! This year’s fall Bike to Work week will take place from October 23 to 27, 2017.
This year’s team of seven trained General Security Patrol employees will work throughout downtown Vancouver and Surrey. It will be the first time that Transit Security Bike Patrol and Transit Police Neighbourhood Police Officers will be partnering in the Surrey area.
Security members receive a four-day bike-specific course to be CAN-bike certified, in addition to basic and advanced security training, and first-aid training. The training was designed for front-line security staff and was a combination of in-class and practical cycling training provided by Transit Police.
Putting our customers first
As always, our customers are important to us, and being on a bike allows Transit Security more opportunities to have meaningful, positive interactions with employees and the public. Having a more mobile security team also means they can easily travel on transit and can go places that are hard to access by vehicle. This means Transit Security can work more closely with the 42 bus routes that travel through the downtown core—boarding an average of more than 100 buses per day—attend to SeaBus and be proactive in security activities.
During the busy summer tourist season, Bike Patrol officers will also be an additional resource downtown to answer customer questions, and act as CMBC ambassadors. In-vehicle Transit Security officers will also be available, if required.
Please support our bike-riding, yellow-uniformed Transit Security officers with a friendly wave or hello when you see them. You’ll be happy you did.
“The bikes are back in town (The bikes are back in town again)…”
Because Bike to Work week starts October 24th!
Don’t worry. I won’t make any cycling puns… those can get wheely tyred. *wait for applause and uncontrollable laughter*
This is a great initiative put on by HUB to get people out of their cars and onto their bikes and win prizes!
Here’s how it works.
You register for the week (you can do that here) as either a team or a solo rider.
Next, you brag about how much fun it’s going to be and how it’s great exercise to all your friends and colleagues.
Log your trips during the official Bike to Work Week — this enters you to win some AMAZING prizes – including a trip for two to Amsterdam! You can log trips by mapping or entering your total KMs cycled.
Don’t forget to check out the Celebration Station Map to find one along your route. At these pit stops you can wheel on by for free treats, mechanical services and more prize draws.
There will also be a free outdoor Halloween Party on Friday, October 28th from 4pm-6pm at the corner of Union and Gore in Vancouver!
Some tips for the week from the experts at HUB:
1. Plan Your Route Ahead of Time. Take bike routes, whenever possible.
Island season is most definitely here! Before the summer slips away *tear* we have some adventure ideas for all of you cycling enthusiasts and budding bikers!
Read on to learn some routes that you can take to the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal that have been collected and expertly researched by avid cyclist and TransLink Assistant Transportation Planner, Denis Agar.
One of the most incredible things about living in Metro Vancouver is that we have beautiful wilderness right on our doorstep. There are a number of exciting destinations to explore on the transit network, and even more are just a short BC Ferries ride away.
Did you know that a bike can take you from one tip of Salt Spring Island to the other in just 2.5 hours?
Even beginner cyclists can enjoy low-stress cycle touring on the Gulf Islands and Vancouver Island, with plenty of campgrounds and B&Bs available to spend the night.
While BC Ferries charges up to $115 round trip to bring your car to the islands, they charge just $4.00 round trip to bring your bike aboard.
The only part that can be a little challenging is getting to the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal with your bike.
All of TransLink’s buses are equipped with bike racks which can make it easier and faster to get to the ferry terminal, but these buses only carry two bikes at a time, which can be a challenge at peak times. But don’t worry, because you have alternatives!
So, if you’re trying to get to the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal with your bike, here are some options worth considering.
*All hypothetical trips start at Waterfront Station to make comparison simple*
Courtesy of Richard Eriksson
Bus route 620 direct to Ferry Terminal Route 620 is your direct route from Bridgeport Canada Line station to the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal. It’s timed to connect with the ferry to Swartz Bay (Victoria) and at busy times, up to three buses can be scheduled to meet the same ferry departure! At peak times, it can be difficult to predict whether there will be room for your bike on the bus, because of the high levels of demand. The following two alternatives are more reliable, and they also leave from the same station!
Bus route 601/602/603/604 to 56 Street and Highway 17
Your next best option is to take one of the four bus routes that go from Bridgeport Station to the village of Tsawwassen. You’ll want to get off the bus at the corner of 56 Street and Highway 17, and bike west on Highway 17’s bike lanes for roughly 20 minutes to get to the ferry terminal.
The extremely frequent route 351 is unlikely to leave you behind, and if it does, it’s only 15 minutes to wait until the next bus.
The 60 minute ride from Matthews Exchange to the ferry terminal is breathtakingly beautiful, along the Boundary Bay Dyke.
Courtesy of Heather Harvey
Massey Tunnel shuttle
This option involves a free shuttle that takes you from one side of the Massey Tunnel to the other. The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure operates this service, which can carry up to seven people and bikes at a time, making it ideal for cycling with big groups. If there are more than seven people waiting, the shuttle will come back ASAP to pick them up.
If you want to take this shuttle but don’t want to bike all the way from your home to the shuttle stop, you can take the Canada Line to Richmond–Brighouse Station and ride to the shuttle pickup point from there.
If you want to bike all the way from your home to the ferry terminal, your closest bike-friendly crossing is the Alex Fraser Bridge between New Westminster and Delta. That’s more than a three hour trip, but there are a number of ways you can shorten it:
Are you looking to get into cycling in Metro Vancouver? Are you unsure of where the best, safest and longest stretches of cycling paths and lanes? Or maybe you want to learn more about the region’s cycling community in general.
TransLink.ca is a great place to start your cycling journey!
1. Plan Your Route Ahead of Time. Take bike routes, whenever possible. 2. Use a U-Lock or Folding Lock, not a Cable Lock. 3. Use a Basket, Pannier or Backpack to carry your stuff.
4. Always keep lights and rain gear in your bag just in case.
5. Wear Your Regular Clothes if possible. Ride at a leisurely pace and you will still look great upon arrival.
Curious about gear for fall biking? Fear not, HUB has got you covered!
Check out this fun bike fashion video from their Bike to Work Week launch party.
The week wraps up on Friday, October 30th with a Halloween Bike Wrap-up Party at Oxford Properties’ Oceanic Plaza.
Everyone is welcome to join HUB staff, volunteers and sponsors for free treats, hot chocolate, bike repairs and costumed fun.
Remember Bike Patrol? The Buzzer covered the inception of this cool new Transit Security crew back in May.
That’s when Bike Patrol hit the streets in downtown Vancouver as part of a four month trial.
Six existing General Security Patrol officers traded their car for a bike and assisted front-line staff and customers downtown during daylight hours.
Each officer went through an intensive four-day training program to be CAN-bike certified.
Security officers had the opportunity to focus on fare inspections and security-related incidents, create a positive customer service experience first-hand and go places where they might otherwise be restricted by being in a car.
The trial is wrapping up on October 10, 2015 and Jessica Hewitt of CMBC checked in with staff to hear what they had to say about the experience.
Being able to be a part of the Transit Security Bike Patrol has been such a great experience. I feel I have greatly increased my contact with operators. Being on the bikes has us at eye level with operators, providing us with clear communication, giving us the ability to respond immediately to any situation. I can get to situations much faster, than if I was in a car.
– Trevor Handford, Transit Security
Bike Patrol has been a joy to perform and the comments we’ve received from operators has been positive. Many are glad to see us, tell us that we are welcome on their buses and that they love our uniforms (since we’re hard to miss!). I am very thankful for the training course that we went through before starting as without it I would’ve been less comfortable riding in the downtown core. I’ll be sad when it is over as this has been one of the best learning experiences at CMBC.
– Jessica Stennes, Transit Security
What’s next for Bike Patrol?
Transit Security is in the process of collecting data and feedback from staff.
We are also looking at statistics to determine reduced carbon emissions and vehicle costs, number of customer contacts, inspections and assistance to the public.
Have you encountered Bike Patrol on any downtown summer transit trips?
Let us know what you think of the program by commenting below!
Erin and Dave from TravelSmart participate in the Share the Road Challenge 2015
It was a Mad Max showdown (I’m a bit dramatic) of bikes versus transit versus car with HUB’s 9th annual Share the Road Challenge!
It all took place on Wednesday, May 20th with the finish line in downtown Vancouver.
Teams of three (one car, one cyclist, one transit user) started from locations across Metro Vancouver, leaving at the same time with the same amount of distance to travel to see who would get downtown first.
There were teams from Car2Go Vancouver, Vancity Buzz, Dish Jeans & Duer Denim, eProdigy Bikes, Modacity, The Georgia Straight, TravelSmart, Two Wheel Gear, Vancity, the Vancouver Airport Authority and the City of Vancouver with Mayor Gregor Robertson and City Councillors Andrea Reimer and Kerry Jang.
The results? In six out of eleven teams, cyclists reigned supreme!
Councillor Andrea Reimer took first prize for the City of Vancouver for her 14-minute trip on the SkyTrain from Commercial Drive.
Mayor Gregor Robertson came in two minutes later on his bike.
Councillor Kerry Jang placed last with a 22-minute drive in his car.
Even our very own TravelSmart team participated! They came in from the West End, with the bike commuter arriving in just 11 minutes while transit came in second with 20 minutes.