Cycling beats driving and riding transit in HUB's 2015 Share the Road commuter challenge

    1 of 2 2 of 2

      Have you ever wondered what the fastest way to get to work is?

      According to this year’s “Share the Road” commuter challenge, cycling beats driving or taking transit.

      The challenge, which was organized by the pro-biking non-profit HUB Cycling, saw teams of three contenstants—one biking, one driving and one taking transit—race towards a finish line located at the intersection of Granville and Georgia, in the heart of downtown Vancouver. In six out of 11 teams, cyclists came out victorious.

      “It's really important that people use other modes of transportation so our roads aren't as congested with traffic,” said Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson, who raced against city councillors Andrea Reimer and Kerry Jang.

      Reimer, who took transit, was the first member of the City of Vancouver team to cross the finishline, followed closely by Robertson, who biked. Jang was a distant third.

      "We're seeing lots of people shifting now, over 50 percent of Vancouver now gets around on walk, bike, or transit," Robertson said. "If we all choose different ways to get around, and they're safe ways to get around, then we'll get around more conveniently and efficiently."

      Other teams participating in the event included the Vancouver Airport Authority, Vancity, car2go Vancouver, and the Georgia Straight, among others. 

      "Share the Road" was used to promote HUB's ninth annual Bike to Work Week, which will run from May 25 to 31. 

      According to Erin O'Melinn, executive director of HUB, an estimated 10,000 people will participate in this year's Bike to Work Week, which promotes the use of bicycles as a healthy and sustainable way to commute around the city. 

      Peter Mothe is a practicum student at the Georgia Straight and a graduate student at UBC's school of journalism. You can follow him on Twitter.



      Ken Ohrn

      May 20, 2015 at 12:55pm

      What a great event; fun and happy. And once again, a demonstration that riding a bike gets you there is pretty good time.

      Steve White

      May 20, 2015 at 1:36pm

      That's why I ride - my 24km commute (each way) from Coquitlam to Burnaby takes 55 minutes and driving is usually 45 minutes but can also be 60 minutes. Riding is stress free, relaxing and I get 2 hours of exercise instead of city in traffic. I ride all year round in all weather.

      Chris Van Ihinger

      May 20, 2015 at 2:33pm

      We recall a similar event hosted several years ago when a Motorcyclist attempted to participate. Even though supported by a BC-wide Motorcyclist Interest Group, the motorcycle was only covered in the local Motorcyclists' advertisingandnews media.

      Seems to me the Motorcycle won.

      For future events, we recommend to expand the qualified participants to include mobility scooters, Segways, long boards and other reasonable commuting alternatives to private motor cars.


      May 22, 2015 at 9:06pm

      If it was an honest comparison they would tell us where the start was. There is no parking at Georgia and Granville duh, how about next year they have people leaving their houses and going to work. It may not get the results HUB and the city wants but it would be accurate , now that's a real challenge How about it HUB are you up for it.

      D Gipson

      May 25, 2015 at 1:09pm

      Did they include the time it takes to shower and change for the bicycle riders once they get to work or are they counting on people not sweating or working in sweaty clothes? Once you factor this in, there is no way a bike ride from an "average" distance in Vancouver can be faster than driving. How long does it take to bike from Main and Marine Dr to Downtown Vancouver and shower? How long does that drive take?

      Also, if it is true biking is faster than driving it tells me that more money needs to be spent on improving roadways for cars since they are already seemingly optimized for biking speeds. Synchronizing stop lights better (noting speed of traffic flow changes during rush-hour) and adding pedestrian overpasses to eliminate needless lights is important.

      Also it is very single minded to view biking vs transit vs driving strictly in Vancouver proper. From New West to Downtown or Coquitlam to downtown is out of the question for biking. By focusing on Vancouver biking vs traffic problems without considering the suburbs will only lead more to the housing crisis in Vancouver. You will force people who don't want a long commute to live in the city and drive up the demand for condos and houses. No one who isn't close to a skytrain station can even consider taking transit to downtown as it would be time-prohibitive.