Bike Racks on Vancouver Island Greyound Buses

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Transporting bicycles up and down Vancouver Island is somewhat of a hassle unless you have access to a vehicle. VIA rail's passenger service is very inconvenient as there is only one departure time per day in each direction from each city it services, and it does not allow bikes on board even if they are in a box. The Greyhound bus has a reasonable schedule and does allow travelers to transport bikes as luggage or freight but it must be in a box and they charge approximately $30 for transportation on the island. This is prohibitively expensive especially when compared to the cost of your own bus ticket. A Nanaimo to Victoria fare costs less. Unless you have access to a vehicle to haul the bike and box, the process of transporting a bike is very inconvenient, and the process will go something like this:

Lock the bike up at the bus depot you are departing from. Buy some packing tape, or maybe you will have brought some with you. Walk to the closest bike shop. Get a bike box. Hopefully they have one handy that they will give/sell to you. Walk back to the depot with the box. Hopefully its a short walk because these boxes can get heavy and cumbersome, and they are extremely difficult to ride with on your bike, hence the walking. Disassemble your bike, removing pedals, front wheel and handlebars. Pack it into the box, tape it up and hand it over in time to catch your bus. When you get to your destination, if youre lucky your bike box will be there too. The situation where your bike is not on your bus might arise on long haul trips with multiple transfer points. But even so, it sure does put a kink in your plans when you are left to lug around a bunch of panniers without a bike. After you find your bike box, you unpack and reassemble the bike and dispose of the box by perhaps hiding it somewhere convenient, in case you need it on the return trip so you dont have to go through the box scouting mission again.

At some bus depots there might be the option to purchase a special bike box for $15, adding some convenience, but also further adding to the cost of transport. None of the bus depots and Greyhound Express Couriers on Vancouver Island offer this service.

The simplest and most convenient solution which has been employed by many city and commuter buses is to put bike racks on the front bumper of the bus. No boxes necessary. I had a similar issue with GO Transit when I was living in Toronto, in that I was unable to transport my bike on any GO bus routes except in a box. They stated that there were unable to offer bike racks due to the high speeds at which the buses travel on the highway. It seems they have rectified whatever issues they were having because they now offer bike racks on all their buses serving all the Greater Toronto area. If GO Transit can do it, so can Greyhound.

Not only would this be a great service to provide to Greyhound customers on Vancouver Island but I think it would also benefit Greyhound by increasing ridership. If you are in support of having bike racks installed on the Greyhound buses on Vancouver Island please sign this petition and pass word of its existence on to others who might be interested in signing as well.