It’s Bike to Work week in Metro Vancouver and I have to know, are you riding your bike this week? Surrey is fairly bike friendly with most major roads having bike lanes. The Greenways project also provides some non road options for cyclists but for the most part Surrey’s size and layout prevent it from being a fully bikeable place. So what are your options?
Most busses have a bike rack but they only hold 2 or 3 bikes. If the bike rack is full you have to wait for another bus which can take awhile in Surrey. If you’re lucky enough to catch a bus with room for you and your bike you still have another hurdle awaiting you at the skytrain station. There are bike lockers at some Surrey stations but that leaves you without your bike when you reach your destination. Translink has been very helpful and communicative about how one would get from Surrey to downtown on a bus but the transit portion alone would take a little over an hour and a half not to mention the cycling time. Most people I know don’t have 3-4 hours a day to dedicate to commuting.
If you’ve ever been to Portland and utilized their transit system you probably know what I’m going to bring up, Light Rail. Light Rail is the answer to Surrey’s transit troubles. The cost is significantly lower than Skytrain, operating costs are less expensive than buses and Surrey’s Main roads are wide enough (mostly) to have street level light rail run down existing centre boulevards. Portland’s system combines light rail, street cars and buses in a seamless, inexpensive and user friendly way that Surrey is in desperate need of.
Portland’s Trimet Light Rail system also has dedicated bike storage space in every car on every train, a far cry from Translink’s non existent Skytrain+bike options. I you have an opinion I’d love to here it. I for one would love to ride my bike to work, it just isn’t a sensible option for me.