— Pamela Roth
Geoff Mundy would love to bike all the way to work, but his daily commute from his home in North Saanich to downtown Victoria is simply too far.
The 59-year-old, however, has managed to find a happy medium by biking five kilometres from his home to the McTavish bus exchange, where he stores his bike in a secure locker and hops on the bus for the rest of the journey.
“It’s the best of both worlds,” said Mundy, who started using the bike lockers three years ago. “I get some regular exercise, but I can still get to work on time.”
The lockers are operated by the Greater Victoria Cycling Coalition (GVCC), which would like to see the program expand into Victoria and Esquimalt.
In partnership with B.C. Transit, the non-profit group that advocates on behalf of cyclists, currently operates 30 lockers at three regional park and ride locations — McTavish Road near the airport, the western exchange at the Juan de Fuca Recreation Centre in Colwood near the Galloping Goose Trail, and the Langford Exchange on Station Avenue next to the new E & N Trail. The lockers rent for $10 a month with a $30 refundable key deposit.
According to Susanna Grimes, outreach coordinator for the GVCC, the organization has been renting the lockers for about 15 years. Their popularity, however, has fluctuated with only about a dozen cyclists using them at this time.
“We’ve had a flurry recently of people signing up, but I think people don’t know they are there,” said Grimes. “They are a great thing. It’s mainly for people who work downtown, but it doesn’t have to be that long of a ride if you want to break it into two parts.”
B.C. Transit funded the installation and purchase of the bike lockers for GVCC to manage. Prior to any expansion, spokesperson Mike Russell said B.C. Transit would have to look at the use of the program in the context of the services already provided.
“B.C. Transit is always in favour of partnering with other organizations to support our liveable communities,” said Russell. “The bike locker program is one way in which we continue to see both alternate and active transportation used to connect our communities.”
For more information visit gvcc.bc.ca/store or email firstname.lastname@example.org.