80% of ACTION buses set to have bike racks by 30 June

kepayne 18 April 2012 21
bus rack

In a media statement released by Katy Gallagher today, she said that by 30 June of this year, 80% of ACTION buses will have bike racks.

“The ACT Government is committed to providing bike and ride options for Canberrans as an easy, environmentally friendly and healthy means for people to use their bike to access public transport,” the Chief Minister said. “The ACT continues to have the highest level of bike racks on buses in Australia. Currently, 73% of the bus fleet is fitted with bike racks and the Government is on track to achieve its goal of 80% (or 342 buses) by the end of the financial year. A total of $336,000 will have been spent on the initiative.”

This decision comes as part of the Transport for Canberra policy which was recently launched.

Katy goes on to explain the 80% figure.

“it is not possible to fit bike racks on every bus, particularly the large capacity buses, due to turning circle restrictions which would require modification to intersections and roundabouts for the buses to safely use them. While all new buses on order will be built so they are capable of being fitted with bike racks, the larger capacity buses will not be fitted”

It has to be noted that when I went out looking for a photo of someone using the bus bike racks, all of the bike racks were sadly empty. Let’s hope that the rainy day is to blame and that the $336,000 has been spent wisely.


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21 Responses to 80% of ACTION buses set to have bike racks by 30 June
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canberran85 canberran85 6:23 pm 18 Apr 12

I use the bike racks regularly and they are fantastic! We are really lucky in Canberra that we have these racks which I haven’t seen in any other city I have visited.

I love them for a few reasons:
-High frequency bus services are easier to access (reduced travel time to bus stops). This can substantially reduce travel times for those without cars, particularly in off-peak periods;
-Allows one-way cycle journeys, which encourage greater bike use;
-Security that a puncture or lactic-acid-legs wont leave you stranded; and,
-Ability to terminate rides in bad weather.

In combination with our generally fantastic bike paths and cycle lanes, these bike racks mean that not owning a car in a city as large as Canberra is fesible, although not without challenges.

The biggest barrier to me using them is that not all buses have them yet. The commuter bus I catch to my second job two nights a week rarely, if ever, has a bike rack. This means that the trip home takes 90 minutes (2 buses plus walking) in the evening, rather than 35 minutes were I to have my bike with me.

Heading to 80% coverage by June is encouraging, as is the fact that it is being publicised. Without publicity, growth in usage rates will continue to be slow.

basketcase basketcase 9:22 pm 18 Apr 12

The only buses that wont have the racks will be the buses I want to catch 🙂

I occasionally use them, quite often there are 2 bikes on the rack. Maybe it’s just the time I travel.

Generally though, it is quicker for me to ride to the destination if it is about 20 or so Km eg, Charnwood to Weston by bike path is a whole lot quicker than the 314 to Woden then ride down to Weston.

Buses win when laziness wins. (or exhaustion sets in)

Here_and_Now Here_and_Now 9:59 pm 18 Apr 12

I don’t know if it’s the rain today or just chance that you didn’t see any in use. Almost every time I catch a bus that has a rack, someone uses it.

Evil_Kitten Evil_Kitten 11:50 pm 18 Apr 12

Is there a thing on the Action site to explain how to use them? I mean, I’m sure it’s not rocket science but that’s what would deter me using them – looking like a tool while the whole bus is watching you (and waiting).

FioBla FioBla 12:25 am 19 Apr 12

Evil_Kitten said :

Is there a thing on the Action site to explain how to use them? I mean, I’m sure it’s not rocket science but that’s what would deter me using them – looking like a tool while the whole bus is watching you (and waiting).

https://www.action.act.gov.au/load_bike.html

There’s a video on YouTube from another bus company. Pretty much the same.

dpm dpm 7:42 am 19 Apr 12

I think the headline should read:
‘80% of ACTION buses set to have bike racks before this year’s election’
Hahahaha! What a cynical pr$%k I am today! Hahahaha! Sorry!

aceofspades aceofspades 9:22 am 19 Apr 12

I do think it is a fantastic idea and have contemplated saving money by travelling to work and back via bike/bus. I am concerned though, what happens if your bus pulls up and the bike rack is full?

thatsnotme thatsnotme 9:46 am 19 Apr 12

aceofspades said :

I do think it is a fantastic idea and have contemplated saving money by travelling to work and back via bike/bus. I am concerned though, what happens if your bus pulls up and the bike rack is full?

It is a risk, although speaking personally, not an issue I’ve run into.

What you do will depend on where you live, and what bus services you have available, but if I’m riding one way and busing the other, I’m riding to work in the morning. I certainly find it easier to get motivated to ride on a nice still morning, than after a day spent at work!

So if I’m taking the bike home on a bus, I try to get one that will take me all the way from Civic to home without having to change buses at another interchange. If I found that bus had no room on the bike rack, I’d get another 3-series bus to Belconnen interchange, and grab the other connecting bus that will take me home.

I guess I’m lucky in that I’ve got a choice of a couple of buses that go near my place though, I know not everyone has that choice.

The other option if you have somewhere secure to store your bike at work, is to ride in, bus home without the bike, bus into work the next day, and ride back home.

dungfungus dungfungus 9:47 am 19 Apr 12

aceofspades said :

I do think it is a fantastic idea and have contemplated saving money by travelling to work and back via bike/bus. I am concerned though, what happens if your bus pulls up and the bike rack is full?

Bike rage?

Postalgeek Postalgeek 10:05 am 19 Apr 12

aceofspades said :

I do think it is a fantastic idea and have contemplated saving money by travelling to work and back via bike/bus. I am concerned though, what happens if your bus pulls up and the bike rack is full?

Wait for the next bus or start using the bike you brought along…

konazz konazz 10:13 am 19 Apr 12

aceofspades said :

I do think it is a fantastic idea and have contemplated saving money by travelling to work and back via bike/bus. I am concerned though, what happens if your bus pulls up and the bike rack is full?

Yeah… it can be a PITA in the morning. I prefer to bus in the morning, and ride home in the afternoon/evening to let off some steam. Saves bringing showering stuff to work and using dodgy shower block. I was lucky, that I could just duck over to Woden interchange (2 min ride) and I work in Civic so i have 300’s running every couple of mins… just wait till the next 300 shows up with an empty bike rack.

Now, I only have a bus service every 30-45 mins.

I personally would only trust them on the express lines that run every 15 mins, because you may get stuck, having to wait an hour for your next bus if you’re in the burbs. I have noticed that in my area on some afternoons bikes are chained to the bus stop poles… hmmmmmm

ML-585 ML-585 12:46 pm 19 Apr 12

Evil_Kitten said :

Is there a thing on the Action site to explain how to use them? I mean, I’m sure it’s not rocket science but that’s what would deter me using them – looking like a tool while the whole bus is watching you (and waiting).

There’s a big sticker on the front of the bus showing you how to use it. As well as stickers on the rack itself.

And yes, there’s also a thing on the ACTION website: https://www.action.act.gov.au/doc/bikenride/Bike%20Rack_Unloading%20and%20Loading%20your%20bike.pdf

bd84 bd84 11:25 pm 19 Apr 12

I still don’t understand why one would just not try sitting on the bike and pedal it to their destination rather than pedal the 100m from their home to the bus stop, put it on the bus, get to destination, take it off the bus and pedal another 100m to their place of work. It’s like me strapping the bike to the front of my car and then driving to work so I can ride it from the car park.. Defeats the point of riding a bike really.. The bike would probably be quicker than taking the scenic stop and start route on the bus too.

Jono Jono 10:55 pm 25 May 12

bd84 said :

I still don’t understand why one would just not try sitting on the bike and pedal it to their destination rather than pedal the 100m from their home to the bus stop, put it on the bus, get to destination, take it off the bus and pedal another 100m to their place of work. It’s like me strapping the bike to the front of my car and then driving to work so I can ride it from the car park.. Defeats the point of riding a bike really.. The bike would probably be quicker than taking the scenic stop and start route on the bus too.

There are lots of reasons why they’re great. When they were first introduced into Canberra, there were many critical letters in the Canberra Times about them, and then a brilliant response from an elderly gentleman. He’d been riding bikes all of his life, but many of the places that he used to ride to around town were beyond him now. However the racks on the buses meant that he could once again get on his bike knowing that if he felt strong enough he could cycle all of the way, but if he needed to he could travel part/most of the way on the bus. He described the renewed freedom that he’d experienced solely because of their introduction.

I’ve used them a few times, typically when my kids have been attending something in Civic, and I’ve ridden my bike in to collect them and then we’ve caught the bus home together.

They also make travelling to work by public transport a sensible option for almost anyone who really wants to use it. Even if you’re in a suburb where there are infrequent bus services, anyone of even the most moderate fitness level would be able to ride to the local bus interchange and put their bike on the rack of one of the intertown buses which leave every few minutes during peak times.

thatsnotme thatsnotme 12:10 am 26 May 12

Jono said :

bd84 said :

I still don’t understand why one would just not try sitting on the bike and pedal it to their destination rather than pedal the 100m from their home to the bus stop, put it on the bus, get to destination, take it off the bus and pedal another 100m to their place of work. It’s like me strapping the bike to the front of my car and then driving to work so I can ride it from the car park.. Defeats the point of riding a bike really.. The bike would probably be quicker than taking the scenic stop and start route on the bus too.

There are lots of reasons why they’re great. When they were first introduced into Canberra, there were many critical letters in the Canberra Times about them, and then a brilliant response from an elderly gentleman. He’d been riding bikes all of his life, but many of the places that he used to ride to around town were beyond him now. However the racks on the buses meant that he could once again get on his bike knowing that if he felt strong enough he could cycle all of the way, but if he needed to he could travel part/most of the way on the bus. He described the renewed freedom that he’d experienced solely because of their introduction.

I’ve used them a few times, typically when my kids have been attending something in Civic, and I’ve ridden my bike in to collect them and then we’ve caught the bus home together.

They also make travelling to work by public transport a sensible option for almost anyone who really wants to use it. Even if you’re in a suburb where there are infrequent bus services, anyone of even the most moderate fitness level would be able to ride to the local bus interchange and put their bike on the rack of one of the intertown buses which leave every few minutes during peak times.

I use them quite frequently. In my situation, I’ll often ride to work in the morning, and then decide whether I’m also going to ride home, or if I’m going to instead put the bike on the bus and go home that way (I work in the city, and it’s a 14.5km ride each way). I could leave the bike at work – I have access to secure basement storage where I can leave my bike – but I’d rather have it back at home, so I can ride the next morning if I want to.

beeshive beeshive 11:44 am 26 May 12

People only need to use their bikes in conjunction with the bus service because the bus service is so dismal on its own. I see this as an admission that its darn near impossible to get from A to B in Canberra in a reasonable time without resorting to additional modes of transport.

Gungahlin Al Gungahlin Al 1:56 pm 26 May 12

I use the racks once or twice most weeks. Love them – gives me the flexibility to take a chance with the weather. If it turns bad, no sweat.

And everything Canberra85 said.

I am concerned that the new articulated buses won’t be able to have them due to overall combined length…

One of the advantages rail has over buses – easy to take a bike on a train – no rack required.

johnboy johnboy 1:58 pm 26 May 12

If we set the buses up right we’d just lug the bikes on same as a train.

thy_dungeonman thy_dungeonman 3:06 pm 26 May 12

bd84 said :

I still don’t understand why one would just not try sitting on the bike and pedal it to their destination rather than pedal the 100m from their home to the bus stop, put it on the bus, get to destination, take it off the bus and pedal another 100m to their place of work. It’s like me strapping the bike to the front of my car and then driving to work so I can ride it from the car park.. Defeats the point of riding a bike really.. The bike would probably be quicker than taking the scenic stop and start route on the bus too.

Well to get to the ANU from weston creek it’s much quicker for to ride my bike 12 minutes to woden chuck it on the bus and then ride to the ANU than to take the 27 which goes once an hour to woden or ride the whole way which takes 50 minutes and would require a clothing change. Plus I can leave whenever I want rather than only at 20 to the hour.

beeshive said :

People only need to use their bikes in conjunction with the bus service because the bus service is so dismal on its own. I see this as an admission that its darn near impossible to get from A to B in Canberra in a reasonable time without resorting to additional modes of transport.

This is correct, the main reason I ride is to cut out the 27 route which doesn’t run frequently (and the 26 which takes me 20 minutes walk past my house). Although it is useful having a bike at the other end if I decide to go somewhere else north-side. The main problem is the long buses which run in peak times, I had two in a row the other day and it turns a rapid route into a regular one.

I just hope that they continue putting the yellow ones one, they are much simpler and easier to use than the grey and black racks which are always a bit stuck, require you to lift the bike higher, and it is easy to get your hands pinched in them.

dungfungus dungfungus 5:56 pm 26 May 12

ML-585 said :

Evil_Kitten said :

Is there a thing on the Action site to explain how to use them? I mean, I’m sure it’s not rocket science but that’s what would deter me using them – looking like a tool while the whole bus is watching you (and waiting).

There’s a big sticker on the front of the bus showing you how to use it. As well as stickers on the rack itself.

And yes, there’s also a thing on the ACTION website: https://www.action.act.gov.au/doc/bikenride/Bike%20Rack_Unloading%20and%20Loading%20your%20bike.pdf

What does the “MAN” sign on the front of the bus mean? Some men may get confused and strap themselves to to rack with the bike. Some women might be offended having their bike so close to a MAN too.

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