Oct 24, 2010

Airdrie's InterCityExpress (ICE) Allows Bikes on Board

Photo Airdrie Transit
Airdrie Transit launched their new service this month for commuters looking for an option to leave their car at home, and by all accounts, this new service was welcomed by many people in both Airdrie and Calgary.  Of particular note for cyclists is that AT will have bike racks on these buses once spring arrives - however, in the meantime, they are allowing people to board this service WITH THEIR BIKES.  Here is a Twitter conversation between me and Airdrie's Transit Coordinator -

@ Any idea if the ICE service will have bike racks on buses? Some customers have asked.

@ Transit Coordinator for Transit here...we've removed the bike racks for the season. Back in the spring

@ - Wow! Awsome! Will be sure to promote that service. Bike commuters thank you!

@ Yes, our fleet to will have bike racks back in the spring. In the meantime riders are permitted to board with their bikes

Wow! 

On the other hand, Calgary Transit has done a mediocre job of showing leadership with regards to integrating bikes and transit.  Right now, CT shows 3 routes that are supposed to have bike racks on ALL buses on these routes.  Unfortunately, this does not seem to be the case (customers who use these routes have told us), and CT's response to complaints about their inability to insure all buses on these 3 routes have racks has been the same answer - "we cannot guarantee that the buses leaving the garage for certain routes will have racks".

What's the point then of promoting it?  Why can't Calgary Transit have bikes on all buses like other cities?

Kudo's to CT are deserved however for cyclists ability to bring bikes on the C-Train for sure, but to be fair, it's not always easy to get on or off the trains due to the narrow doors and many trains have a pole right in the middle of the doorway making it really tough to use the train if you have wide bars or panniers on your bike.  Also, bikes are not allowed on the trains during rush hour (exactly the time you need to be able to make the biggest impact) - the ICE service however does allow bikes onboard anytime.

Congratulations Airdrie Transit on showing amazing leadership on integrating alternative modes of transportation. 

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