There’s so much going on at BEST right now that it is hard to pack all the stories into one newsletter. But here goes! In our newsletter this month we have stories about all The Bicycle Valet events around town and the upcoming volunteer training session and volunteer party; the Commuter Challenge’s goal to have people who drive alone to work shift to year-round sustainable commuting; and Parkbus’ second season, which will feature more trips up the Sea-to-Sky Highway to BC Provincial Parks. Our new "Multi-Modal Musings" column looks at the differences and advantages between one- and two-way car sharing and, speaking of multi-modalities, our contest for all you multi-modalists out there is now closed – and five lucky winners have been chosen to win Earnest Ice Cream. Last but not least, in local transportation news we’ll tell you about the Mayors’ Council’s #CureCongestion campaign in advance of the May 9 provincial election, the recent TransLink bus expansion, and HUB’s project to UnGapTheMap.
And that’s it! Happy May and happy reading everybody!
The Bicycle Valet: Come volunteer with us!
Volunteers Sam and Shane hold down The Bicycle Valet
We had another great month in April at The Bicycle Valet, and May has even more in store! First of all, we've got VOLUNTEER TRAINING coming up this Wednesday May 3rd at 6pm - join us for a quick training session, followed by a beverage on us. For more information, contact Sinéad at email@example.com . We'll also have our Spring Bicycle Valet Volunteer Party the following Friday, which has been described as legendary ... so this is your chance to get involved!
fort at Sakura Days.
And of course, May will be FULL of events where your bike will be safe:
May 4th- Vancity AGM
May 5-7th- Ships to Shore
May 7th- BMO Vancouver Marathon & Walk So Kids Can Talk
May 20th- Whitecaps home game
May 23rd- Whitecaps home game
May 27th- Whitecaps home game & Bike-In Movie Night with HUB
May 30th- Bikers' Breakfast at L'École Bilingue
And of course, you can always check our calendar for the most up to date list of events as they confirm!
For more information on anything Bicycle Valet, please contact Sinéad at firstname.lastname@example.org or 604.669.2860 ext.207 or sign up now.
Commuter Challenge: A year-round lifestyle choice!
The goal of the BC Commuter Challenge is to reduce the number of single-occupancy vehicles on the roads in BC and make daily commuting healthier. We would like those hardcore all-weather cyclists to participate just as much as the daily transit goer. But what we’re really hoping for is someone to change their routine for the week and maybe stick with it, even after the Challenge. We want those people who drive alone in a personal vehicle to try something new and consider making a lifelong change to their way of commuting!
Can I leave my car at home for just one week? Could I share my commute with a coworker? Do I really need a personal vehicle!? These are the things the Commuter Challenge should make you ask. When the dust settles and you’ve done your best, we’re hoping you’ve had an epiphany!
Here’s one example, courtesy of Modo Ambassador Keane Gruending, of how letting go of a personal vehicle can make your commute easier. We hope it will inspire you to do the same!
"Carsharing makes the transition towards a multi-modal lifestyle easier.
Many car drivers have health, environmental, financial, or other reasons to want to get around more by walking, cycling, and transit. But a small number of monthly car trips often stand in the way of completely getting away from personal car ownership.
For those rainy crosstown meetings, picking up groceries, or heading to Grouse Mountain, a car is either an alluring option or an outright necessity. So a vehicle is often kept for a few monthly trips but—since most of the costs of car ownership are tied up in fixed costs and not the cost of an actual vehicle trip—it’s easy to justify using the car more and more.
That’s where carsharing comes in. For the people who can get away with walking, cycling, taking transit, or carpooling to work, carsharing can easily cover infrequent auto use. Personally, I bike to and from work every day, relying on Modo for meetings on Burnaby Mountain.
Without a car in the garage, I don’t have the expensive temptation to drive everywhere. But with a carsharing membership, I always have a vehicular option if I need it."
With the Challenge being only a week long it shouldn’t take too much time for commuters to plan and think about how they can better their commute. The Challenge begins June 4th so there’s plenty of time to scope out the bike route, coordinate a carpool and register for a carshare! Right now you can have $50 driving credit with Modo, using the promo code, bestcommute. Register for the BC Commuter Challenge here. Happy, safe commuting!
Keane Gruending, Modo Ambassador, contemplates
options for his daily commute.
Parkbus returns for its second season
This could be you!
Last year BEST helped pilot Parkbus, an express bus service to BC Provincial Parks in the Sea-to-Sky Corridor. We are delighted to announce that starting in May, Parkbus will once again be helping people escape the city and explore the outdoors, all without needing a car!
Buses are currently scheduled for Garibaldi, Joffre Lakes, Shannon Falls, Stawamus Chief, Alice Lake, Golden Ears and Cypress Provincial Parks. Additional days have been added to this year's schedule.
For more information about Parkbus, and to purchase tickets, please visit here. Note that early bird pricing is in effect until May 2.
One- or two-way car sharing?
Our new "Multi-Modal Musings" column focuses on issues related to sustainable transportation around the Lower Mainland. This month we take a look at the differences and advantages between one- and two-way carsharing.
A range of carsharing options are now available
Do I have to return the car to the same spot as I picked it up? What if I want to take transit home? What if I want the car all day? How do I find a car if it can be left anywhere? How do I make sure the car is there when I need it?
If you’ve ever asked yourself any of these questions, you might be wondering about the differences between one-way and two-way carsharing. Are they different? Can I use both? The short answer to both questions is yes!
Carsharing started here in Vancouver over 20 years ago, by a local, member-owned carshare co-operative called the Co-operative Auto Network (now Modo). They offered two-way – or as some call it, round-trip – carsharing. And up until 2011, they were the only ones in town. A lot has changed since then, and Vancouver now has many ways to access a vehicle when you need one, including one- and two-way carsharing.
A good place to start our journey is to understand that there are both differences and complementary aspects to one- and two-way carsharing. If you’ve missed the bus, it’s too rainy to ride your bike or walk, and you’re only going from A to B, a good choice may be a one-way carshare – Evo or car2go if you’re in Vancouver. The former is a BC company, while the latter is owned by Daimler Chrysler. The cars are most often booked in the moment and you pay by the minute. In short, one-way carsharing is best for shorter trips within a prescribed home zone, when you’re only looking to go one-way. It’s more expensive, but you only pay for the time you are driving, not the time parked.
If, however, you want to make sure the vehicle is available when you need it, and you’re making a round trip, a trip with several stops, a longer trip, going somewhere outside Vancouver’s city centre, or you need a bigger vehicle, you’ll probably want a two-way service – Modo or Zipcar if you’re in Metro Vancouver. The former is a locally owned co-op, while the latter is owned by Budget Avis. Two-way vehicles can be booked a minute or a year in advance, so your ride is always assured. When you’re finished your trip, return the vehicle to the same place you picked it up. Two-way carsharing tends to be cheaper on a per hour basis, and with so many vehicle types to choose from, they are great to get out of town, run a series of errands, or do heavy lifting like big Costco or Ikea runs.
Like all trips, which type of carsharing you choose should be based on your trip purpose, where you’re going, for how long, and how you plan to get back. In all cases, gas, insurance, maintenance and parking privileges are included in the cost of the booking.
Multi-modalist contest results are in
Last month we asked you to tell us how you multi-modal. And tell us you did! We had a fantastic response to our contest, with a veritable flood of readers describing the myriad of sustainable and creative ways they use to get around the Lower Mainland. At the end of April all of the entries were tossed into the hat and FIVE were chosen to win seriously good Earnest Ice Cream. We only wish we could give ice cream to everyone, your entries were all so great.
Over the next few days the lucky winners will be notified, and over the next few months we will share some of the entries sent in by these amazing multi-modalists. Thanks to everyone for entering!
Let's #CureCongestion together!
Click to watch "The Symptoms of Congestion"
In April the Mayors’ Council on Regional Transportation launched #CureCongestion, a public outreach campaign designed to raise awareness about the importance of continued investments in Metro Vancouver’s transportation system in advance of the May 9 provincial election.
In addition to educating voters about the 10-Year Vision for more transit services, better roads, and active transportation infrastructure, the Mayors’ Council is calling on B.C.’s political parties to make clear commitments to work with the region to ensure the entire Vision is implemented. It is the Council's hope that transportation will be a key issue in the B.C. election, though they have pointed out that neither party has yet committed to workable solutions to reduce congestion across our region over the long term.
If you agree that congestion is a problem and you want the next provincial government to work with the Mayors’ Council to take action on this important issue, please visit their campaign website, where you can learn more about the 10-Year Vision, take a quick survey, and pledge your support.
TransLink rolls out bus expansion
(Photo credit: TransLink)
On April 24 TransLink began the rollout of the biggest transportation expansion for Metro Vancouver in nearly a decade.
Funded by Phase One of the 10-Year Vision, this expansion will reduce overcrowding and wait times, and extend hours of service across the region. In all, the increase in funding will provide 65,000 annual service hours of bus improvements.
BEST is very pleased to see this expansion, and looks forward to the rollout of further transit improvements throughout the region.
For more information visit here.
HUB working to UnGapTheMap
Over 40% of Metro Vancouver residents want to cycle more often but many are put off by safety concerns. Of particular concern is the fact that the bike network remains fragmented, with hundreds of gaps across the region. This barrier is something HUB Cycling is aiming to change with UnGapTheMap.
The UnGapTheMap campaign is focused on identifying, prioritizing and fixing the gaps that if solved would increase safety and create a more connected bike network across Metro Vancouver, getting people to places they need to go.
HUB Cycling’s local committees have already identified over 300 gaps across Metro Vancouver which are stopping more people cycling. The gaps range from minor ‘spot improvements’, such as improving signage or adding bike crossings, to building new bike lanes in areas of high ridership like along Powell Street in Vancouver.
To find out more about how you can help UnGapTheMap, including how you can Adopt a Gap, visit here.
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