BC Transit is currently switching out the bike racks on its buses for new ones that can accommodate wider tires, but trail riders in Campbell River shouldn’t expect to be able to mount their fat-tired bikes on the front of local buses right away.
The company started the phase-in of the new racks – which can accommodate tires up to three inches wide – last month, due to increased demand for the service and popularity of wider tires, according to supervisor of fleet engineering Jeff Coleman. The current racks can only accommodate tires up to two inches wide, and users were frequently expressing a need for them to take a wider tire.
They wanted to move to a rack that could accommodate three bikes, as well, rather than the current two-bike capacity, but the company says none of the three-bike racks they tested met safety expectations “due to issues with headlight obstruction.”
While the new racks are already available in Whistler, Nanaimo, Kamloops and Squamish, Campbell River transit users won’t see them until the current racks need replacement from damage or age, according to BC Transit communications director Jonathon Dyck.
“We want to be respectful of the old racks that we’ve already got on the buses,” Dyck says. “I mean, we’re not going to replace the racks that the public has spent money on just because we have new ones, because that wouldn’t be fiscally responsible, but when those racks get damaged or new buses go into service, these new racks will be the new standard we’re going with.”
Currently, every bus in the Campbell River fleet has a bike rack attached to the front of the bus, as it’s a well-used aspect of the service they offer, Dyck says.
“We take pride in having that service available for people,” Dyck says. “Sometimes you might bike to work and by the time you’re off, you find the weather has changed and maybe you don’t feel like riding in it, or you’ll be out on the trails and tire yourself out, and would really rather just take a bus home. These new racks will be able to accommodate wider tires so everyone’s bike can fit and everyone can take advantage of this service.”
Meanwhile, Campbell River transit users should pay attention to a few service level and route changes beginning this week, as announced late last year by BC Transit, including a change to the Quinsam/North Island College bus, which will now travel along Kalmar, Shelbourne and Rockland Road in both directions, restoring transit access to the Rockland Road area that was lost in the 2017 transit restructuring.
There are also fare changes scheduled for April, as first reported in the Mirror back in November, which will mean fare increases for some, but decreases for others.