Next Door to BC, the Bus Is Free
Publisher: The Tyee
Date Written: 06/07/2007
Year Published: 2007
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX20494
Olsen writes about his experience with fare-free transit on Whidbey Island, debunking myths about the inefficiency, impracticality, and unsustainability of such a system.
All of Island Transit's buses are bike rack equipped and wheelchair accessible and have been for many years. TransLink in Vancouver promised that all buses would be bike-rack equipped by 2005, but many still operate without racks today (the new trolleys don't allow bikes on their racks at night!).
For folks with disabilities, Island Transit also offers a Para-transit service with door-to-door service. This is often achieved by using their regular buses which can deviate up to 3/4 of a mile from the regular route.
Their bike-and-ride lots even feature beautifully-roofed racks for locking your bike, and are located at the entrance of every one of their car park-and-ride lots.
Recently, Island Transit replaced their two-bike racks to racks holding three. TransLink claims three-bike racks are unsafe and told me they won't use them. On Island Transit buses as well as WTA and Skagit County buses, I put my bike in all three positions and didn't experience any problems.
Even better, if the racks get full on Island Transit, the operator will allow the fourth or more bike to come on board, as long as there is room. Operators aren't allowed to do this in the Lower Mainland or Nanaimo.