New buses, bike lockers
Transit upgrades part of Metrolinx strategy for city
September 01, 2009
The Hamilton Spectator
New bike lockers are set to open in the downtown core this month to better help commuting cyclists link up with public transit.
The 16 lockers, designed to hold 16 bikes each, will open at the Hamilton Convention Centre as part of Metrolinx's $2.2-million program to provide secure bike parking for cyclists across the Golden Horseshoe area
The lockers were mentioned yesterday by Metrolinx chairperson Rob MacIsaac at the delivery of 18 hybrid buses to the city for a new north-south transit route.
"It's to make cycling a more feasible way for people to get around," he said at the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum, where he, city and provincial officials unveiled the diesel-electric buses.
Studies by Metrolinx, the provincial transportation agency overseeing the Golden Horseshoe, suggest people use their bikes less than they'd like because of the risk of theft.
"People don't like taking their bike to work and coming out and seeing that it's not there anymore, obviously," said MacIsaac. "If we can help encourage and provide more secure locations for bicycles, we think people will use them more."
He also said the idea is to have secure bike lockers in areas that are cycling, pedestrian, transit, employment and leisure hubs.
They will be accessible to registered users with a key card and will be under constant video surveillance.
The buses, first announced by Metrolinx last year, will be employed on a new route that will start next Tuesday and essentially run between the city's waterfront and the John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport. It will serve such destinations as the GO station on Hunter Street and Mohawk College. It will only operate on weekdays during peak periods, but will someday expand into all-day service.
Six buses were lined up on the tarmac behind the Mount Hope museum and their destination signs spelled out the message: Hamilton and Metrolinx launch the new 20A Line Express Transit Routes.
"These improvements will result in more frequent service, more capacity and more comfort for our riders," said Mayor Fred Eisen- berger. "We look forward to working with Metrolinx in the coming months to implement future transit projects in Hamilton."
The buses cost $16 million and came from $33 million allotted to Hamilton by Metrolinx this spring to provide immediate transit improvements. The bus purchases, however, were first announced at the end of 2008 as part of a deal with Winnipeg-based New Flyer to buy 160 buses for 12 municipalities.