Canberra cycling group, Pedal Power ACT, is calling on the next ACT Government to make bike racks on ACTION buses reliable.
The current Government has put bike racks on 80% of buses and say they cannot fit them on the new long buses. Putting bike racks on buses was an ACT Labor initiative and Pedal Power ACT is concerned that a good idea may fail in the implementation.
‘For transport , 80% is not good enough,’ said Pedal Power ACT spokesperson, Brendan Nerdal. ‘It must be reliable. If you run late once because you have to wait for the next bus, or the one after that, you may start taking the car instead.’
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The next Government should consider seeking an exemption from Roads ACT to allow them to fit bike racks on the long buses. Alternatively, they could increase fold-up seating to allow bikes, prams and wheelchairs inside the bus.
If a future ACT Government remains determined to forget this promise, then Pedal Power ACT has some pragmatic alternatives:
- Currently MyWay data is not captured on bike rack use. If this data was captured, it could be used to improve bus schedules to place buses with racks on routes where they are most needed.
- Currently fold-up bikes are not allowed on buses unless they are boxed, which defeats the point. Fold-up bikes are designed for the purpose of integrating cycling with public transport.
- No further buses should be purchased that cannot fit bike racks.
Pedal Power ACT is holding a cycling forum at 7.30pm on Wednesday, 19 September to hear about this and other issues from Chief Minister Katy Gallagher, ACT Greens MLA Ms Caroline Le Couteur and Canberra Liberals MLA Mr Alistair Coe. The forum is at the Johnson Auditorium, Pilgrim House at 69 Northbourne Avenue in Civic. Attendance is free and all are welcome.