TransLink has announced a new summer trial service that will transport cyclists to the Tsawwassen ferries in a specially modified Bike Bus.
The pilot service, which will run from July 1 to September 5, is funded for the summer of 2022 only, the transit authority explained in a June 27 release, but it may become permanent if it proves popular.
The seasonal initiative is aimed at cyclists who would normally travel south on Highway 99 but be stopped by the George Massey Tunnel, which travels under the South Arm of the Fraser River and joins Richmond to Delta.
The Bike Bus will run on the regular 620 route and will display as the 900 Bike Bus to BridgePort Station (or Tsawwassen Ferry, depending on the direction of travel). It will have dedicated loading and unloading bays at both Bridgeport Staion and Ladner Exchange.
The summer service will be available on Fridays, weekends, and holidays from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. The Bike Bus schedule will be aligned with ferry departures to Swartz Bay, with hourly departures.
The 620 is already popular with cyclists going to southern Vancouver Island, TransLink said in the release, but buses with standard outside bike rackscould only take two bikes at a time.
The retrofitted Bike Bus has seven interior bike racks, so it can now load a total of nine bicycles.
“The return of warm weather means more people are cycling to their favourite B.C. destinations,” TransLink CEO Kevin Quinn said in the release. “We’re excited to launch the Bike Bus, as it will better connect our customers with one of the most popular Metro Vancouver routes for summer travel and ensure they can easily explore our beautiful region.”
HUB Cycling's executive director, Erin O'Melinn, said in the release that the new bus fills a gap in the Lower Mainland's transportation network. “Exploring B.C.’s natural beauty by bike is an exhilarating experience, but it can be challenging to get to the ferry terminal with your bike and gear,” O'Melinn said.
“TransLink’s new Bike Bus makes that easier and responds to the long-time demand from people who bike for transportation but face gaps in the cycling network.”