Biking + Transit: Fall in love with multi-modal transportation

As the temperature dips, and more often than not, we wake up to the sound of rain sprinkling the streets, some of us contemplate leaving our bikes at home for our daily commute. Combining biking with transit can make your commute more manageable; hop on the bus in the morning and cycle home, take the Skytrain for the first leg of your journey, bike to the Seabus instead of walking. The multi-modal possibilities in Metro Vancouver are seemingly endless!

To help you navigate the different options, we’ve created a Bike + Transit cheat sheet below.

Bikes are allowed on the Bus, Seabus, West Coast Express, and Skytrain at no extra charge. Each mode has a different capacity for bikes and rules about when you can bring your bike on board. Read more on the TransLink webpage.

Bikes + Bus

  • Anytime, anywhere. 2 bikes per bus.

Bikes + Seabus

  • Anytime. 6 bikes per sailing, although often many more can fit in space allows.

Bikes + West Coast Express

  • Anytime. 2 bikes per car.

Bikes + Skytrain

  • 1 bike per car on Canada Line, 2 bikes per car on Expo/Millennium Lines;
  • Bikes allowed on Canada Line anytime;
  • Bikes not allowed Westbound on the Expo/Millennium/Evergreen Lines from 7-9am weekdays;
  • Bikes not allowed Eastbound on the Expo/Millennium/Evergreen Lines from 4-6pm weekdays;
  • Bikes are never allowed at Metrotown skytrain station;
  • Electric and folding bikes are permitted, but no bike trailers/other attachments are allowed.

One of the biggest questions folks ask about taking their bike on transit is how to get their bike onto the bus rack safely and effortlessly. Luckily TransLink has filmed a handy video to guide you through the steps. We’ve included couple extra tips of our own that might help as well:

  1. Make eye contact with the driver before stepping out in front of the bus - sometimes they will lower the bus for you, making it easier to lift your bike onto the rack.
  2. Squat when lifting and hold onto your bike’s seat tube and front fork to use your lower body to bear the weight of your bike.
  3. The yellow handles can be a bit tricky to pull out and over onto your front wheel - remember to do this as two separate motions, pull out as far as you can, then pull the bar over your wheel as high as you can. Use the same technique in reverse when taking your bike off the rack.
  4. Stand near the front of the bus to keep an eye on your bike during the trip, and let the bus driver know when your stop is next, so they can lower the bus and wait for you to remove your bike before carrying on.
  5. And finally, some bus drivers will let you practice while their bus not in service - this is a great low-pressure way to get comfortable if you’re feeling nervous!

We hope these multi-modal commuting tips help you to continue cycling this fall and winter, find out more about combining bikes with transit on our resources page