Bike rack trial for VIC

Vic’s first trial of bike racks on buses to begin in Melbourne and Bendigo in March next year

Fifteen buses will be fitted with bike racks in Bendigo in a one year trial, the Victorian Government announced this week.

Bike racks fitted to the front of buses operating on Route 16, Routes 510 and 512 in Moreland, and the Cowes to Wonthaggi service, will be capable of carrying two bikes per bus.

The trial is a joint initiative of the Bus Association of Victoria, VicRoads and Public Transport Victoria.

Bus Association of Victoria (BusVic) executive director Chris Lowe is pleased to see the initiative it helped spearhead gain traction across the state.

"It’s very important that industry and government work together to increase the intermodality that exists on our network," he says.

"The interface of bikes and buses is well entrenched in America, Europe, New Zealand and even Canberra, but for some reason not in Victoria."

Lowe is confident giving Victorian bus passengers the ability to cycle, will have a positive spin off effect.

"We believe this will increase patronage.

"We started working on the concept nearly one year ago, and put together a taskforce together with representatives from VicRoads all local government authorities including Transport Safety Victoria, Public Transport Victoria and the Transport Workers Union.

"We’ve also found a local manufacturer who can make the bike racks here in Melbourne."

BusVic has been working closely with the Bicycle Network of Victoria on this initiative, and Lowe is sure the trial will see an increase in the number of people catching these services.

"Eventually we want to see one on most contracted bus routes in Victoria."

The trial involves three bus operators, one in Melbourne and two in regional areas.

The metropolitan operator is Moreland Bus, which operates route services in the City of Moreland area.

The regional operators are South Coast Bus, which operates the Cowes to Wonthaggi service and Strath Transit, which runs route services between Bendigo and Strathfieldsaye.

Victoria’s minister for public transport Jacinta Allan is similarly pleased to see the bike rack trial go ahead.

"We heard through local Regional Network Development Plan consultation sessions that people want more opportunities to combine cycling with public transport – that’s exactly what this trial is all about," she says.

"Combining a bike ride with your bus trip is an easy, environmentally friendly and healthy way to get around, and it will ease congestion on local roads.

"I congratulate the Bus Association of Victoria, VicRoads and Public Transport Victoria for working together on this initiative, and I look forward to seeing how the community respond to being able to bike and bus."

A brochure with instructions on using the bike racks will be distributed to existing patrons of these services and made available online.

The initiative will be rolled out to more bus operators in 2017, if the trial is deemed successful and after an assessment of the impact on services by the Victorian Government.

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