Bike racks on buses – the movie

This short piece from Streetfilms addresses New York but is equally applicable here in Wellington.

When we set out from home our destination isn’t the bus stop or train station, so it’s important that public transport does as much as it can to get us to where we really want to go. At present, this is the big advantage cars have over buses and trains; cars can go door to door with minimal hassle. Adding bike racks to buses increases our commuting and general transport options by some considerable margin.

For example: I live in Hataitai and my hairdresser is in Brooklyn, up the lung-breaking Todman Street. I go to see her every five weeks or so, and this involves riding in to the city, locking and leaving my bike, catching the No. 8 bus up the hill, catching the bus down the hill even though it’s a lovely ride past Central Park, walking two blocks back to where I parked my bike, and riding home through the city. If I could just take my bike on the bus I could come back down the hill, maybe cut down Bidwill Street and through Wellington High/Massey Uni, flick around the Basin & be home in, oh, a third of the time?


The Case for Bike Racks on NYC Buses from Streetfilms on Vimeo.


2 thoughts on “Bike racks on buses – the movie

  1. atom

    one argument against doing this in NYC is that NYC’s public transportation is already pushed past 100% capacity during large chunks of the day (although most cities have that problem once or twice a day). my concern, in NYC, would be standing on a bus, stopped in traffic, and watching in horror while someone grabs my bike off the front of the bus and disappears into the crowd. there’s a reason that kryptonite named their toughest locks after that city.

    what about tokyo, or other japanese cities? i’ve seen videos of “pushers” whose job it is to shove people into crowded trains… and japan is generally considered bike-friendly… how do they do it?


    1. Alice

      I lived in Japan and there were no buses on public transport. You ride your bike to the subway station and leave it there. Generally the public transport got you to wherever you need to go so you don’t need a bike at the other end of the subway.
      In the city I lived in, Sapporo, there were cycle paths that crossed across town, with tunnels running under the roads where they intersected. That was pretty rad.
      Heaps of bikes got stolen over there though when they were left at the subway station. I had 3 stolen in the year I spent there.
      The bike racks in Vancouver were amazing. Generally, cyclists stood at the front and kept an eye on their bikes. From memory they carried four or five at a time.
      We lived in North Vancouver and to visit friends in White Rock (2 hours away) we could bike down to the ferry, ferry over to the city, take the bikes on the subway to the train station, train with the bikes to Surrey, and finally catch a bus to carry us and the bikes all the way out to the beach.


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