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Perfect Match: Metro Vancouver Melds Bikes and Transit

Last month Streetfilms took a look at how Vancouver is making big strides toward becoming a safe bicycling city. As we learned while in town for the Velo-City 2012 conference, the city government is not alone -- it has a great partner in the regional transportation agency, TransLink, which provides transit service for 22 regional municipalities, plus funding for a network of major roads and cycling infrastructure and programs. TransLink views cycling as a complement to the agency's trains, buses, and ferries. In this follow-up, Streetfilms got to speak to TransLink officials about their vision for a transit system that works in tandem with active transportation, and to see some of the ways they're using bike infrastructure to bolster transit ridership.


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  • http://twitter.com/toddedelman toddedelman

    All the bike + PT solutions they show work great as long as bicycle mode share is relatively low: Eventually the two- and three-bike bus racks will be full so much of the time that they will be hard to rely on; people will complain about bikes in vehicles and they will be restricted, hopefully just by a fee; those huge bike lockers will take up too much room, and so on... except perhaps the ferry will stay unrestricted. 

    Of course it should be the goal of TransLink and local officials to have a bike modal share piece of that 50% non-automobile mode which becomes truly meaningful in terms of environmental effects. When everything is a bit congested - hopefully not too crowded - it means that there is success. The solution for most bike + PT will be bike parking.

  • Deedeehalleck

    really well done video. should be shown and discussed in all urban transportation departments.

  • Smack & Cheese

    I like.

  • Andy B from Jersey


    I'm glad you noticed this too.

    While its so refreshing to see a transit agency totally get the powerful synergistic relationship between the bike and transit, I saw no real innovative transit infrastructure to handle bicycles at crowed stations, trains and ferries.  I was expecting to see innovative bike parking solutions at stations like cages and valet stations (a la' Bike Station).  And on the trains and ferries I was hoping to see vertical hanging bike racks to minimize the floor space a bike will occupy if just parked in the area reserved for wheelchair users. 

    Yes, this seems to work okay on the relatively uncrowded conditions depicted in the video but I was hoping to see some real innovation here showing how Vancouver's Translink was able to handle bicycles on its various modes during peak times.

  • Jason Meggs

    Great review of the options and people that use them in a truly noteworthy city! 

    You even caught a rainbow! 

    Of course Vancouver is not perfect, car is still king, and its bicycle modeshare has a long way to go, but it's great to see such a range of successful initiatives and put a face on their use. Many cities wish they could be so advanced. 

    (An investigation of the relationship of a wealthy and calm city to the diverse challenges around the world would have to be another film or three..).

  • fj

    Nice piece showing an integrated transportation architecture based on conventional methods & apparatus.

    It will be real interesting seeing much more advanced systems based on small light extremely agile disruptive vehicles & systems on par with the disruptive change made possible with information & communications technologies.

  • http://twitter.com/toddedelman toddedelman

    Andy B, vertical bike racks are difficult to use for shorter/less strong people, or for most people with a heavier typical Dutch city bike. 

  • Anonymous

    Yes! I wish that San Francisco had the same sense. There are only racks on the front of street buses, which do not have "competitive travel times." You can't take your bike on the MUNI rail or the BART at rush hour. This means anyone who doesn't live within walking distance of either system has to park near a station, or just resort to driving all the way to their destination. 

    I hear what @twitter-18585314:disqus  and @2995d81157fecd50fe4b728419a38787:disqus are saying, though. The real reason we don't have these as options is because those two systems are crowded and there wouldn't be room for bikes on board. There are a lot of good arguments for increasing the capacity and run of both systems here in San Francisco, but unfortunately we just can't seem to spend our money on public transit very wisely.

  • http://twitter.com/JackassWelch Jackass Welch

    If the mode share of cycling goes up to the point where the lockers we need are taking up too much room, we will have traded a very difficult problem for a very easy one. At that point, there will be clear demand for putting 10-12 bike lockers in the former residence of one car parking space.

    And when we get to that level, bike share becomes a pretty easy option because demand makes the system seamless.