Calgarians can now practice putting their bikes on bus racks without the pressure of rushing. 

This story also appeared in LiveWire Calgary

The City of Calgary has installed a new Ride Ready Station at the Heritage bus loop. Ride Ready stations are intended to give bikers the opportunity to familiarize themselves with how to use bike racks on buses.

The installation shows an illustration of a City bus and has a physical bike rack that bikers can practice using without the stress of getting on their bus quickly. 

“We also know that there’s some pressure when you’re putting your bike on the bus for the first time and you know that people are waiting for you and so we want to help people learn how to use the racks before in a nice, calm, neutral environment,” said Amanda Bradley with Calgary Transit.

Bradley said that the City has gradually been adding racks to buses and by the end of this year, all the big buses should have bike racks. The City is also adding bike racks on community shuttles. 

“We just know that Calgarians want to have a variety of ways to access transit, whether it’s their personal bikes or E-bikes or scooters, just giving them that variety so that they can make that choice to take transit,” said Bradley. 

The goal is to equip 1,200 buses with bike racks.

Bradley said they get a lot of requests for bike racks on buses, but they don’t specifically track their usage.

What do the bikers think?

Steven Snell, a Calgary-based bike commuter said that the bike racks are surprisingly easy to use. 

“It’s easier than my rack on my car for example, like it’s literally three steps,” said Snell. 

The Ride Ready Station, which is the same rack that is on City buses, is able to hold two bikes at a time. Users have to simply pull down the rack, place their bikes in the frame and pull up the lock bar around their front wheels. 

Steven Snell practices using the Ride Ready Station at Heritage Station on August 9, 2023. ISABELLA WEST / FOR LIVEWIRE CALGARY

Snell said that although the racks can only house two bikes at a time, anything that promotes multi-modal commuting is a positive because it helps reduces barriers to commuters. 

“As a member of the community, if I see bike racks full on buses, I think that’s a success,” said Snell. 

Where to find these stations

The first Ride Ready Station is currently at Heritage Station but users can expect a second station at Saddletowne in mid-August. The two practice stations will move locations every few weeks to give Calgarians as many opportunities as possible to familiarize themselves with the racks.

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Isabella West is a fourth-year Journalism student at MRU. She completed her work term over the summer of 2023 at LiveWire Calgary in partnership with the Calgary Journal.