London buses racked up for bikers

If you haven't been in the city over the summer you may notice something different as you make your way around, a whole bunch of nice racks….bike racks that is on select LTC bus routes.

Discussions began at the end of 2007 after some inquiries from members of the public, with the program receiving approval in June 2008, and rolled out on four bus routes back in June. The total cost was $65,000 to purchase the bike racks, and $5,000 set aside for maintenance and repair in the 2009 fiscal year. Shahna McNally is a senior transit planner for the LTC and said so far the response has been generally good from the public using the service.

“It's been mostly positive, I think in general the public sees the bike racks as a positive initiative.”

The bike rack program is a one-year pilot program until June 2010, with 40 racks on buses on four specific routes throughout the city. A report will be coming back to the LTC to see whether to keep going with it and also possibly expand it to other routes. The bike racks are available at the moment only on the 10 Wonderland, 14 Highbury, 16 Adelaide, and 17 Oxford West. Currently 14 other transit systems across the country have bike racks on all or part of their bus fleets.

It's all part of the ongoing master plan for transit-use within the city, and more specifically smart bus technology. Over the last few years London Transit has had a number of things going on to help continue to improve public transit in London. Some of which started getting underway in the spring of 2008, and now has been fully implemented include: automatic boards on buses telling you the time, date, and next stop location along with transfers all done by voice and visual components, as well an external voice announcement system telling people the route name and number, direction of travel and end destination, plus more accurate tracking of buses through GPS.

This summer saw the rollout of a system of automatic information signs with real-time bus information that have been appearing at major stops/transfer points on city streets, including one here at Fanshawe, and this fall comes the unveiling of an interactive telephone voice response with real time information for next buses, including real time schedule information via Right now you can see where your bus is on its route and whether it is running on schedule, and soon to be introduced automatic passenger counters on some buses and a transit signal priority.

All these initiatives also assist with the transit's plans to further align themselves with the province's directives towards greater accessibility said McNally.

“We are upgrading our bus fleet to the low-floor accessible buses, and I know that we are also trying to make the bus stops more accessible by having the concrete landing pads. There may be more standards, not all of them have been finalized. There's just a few that we're sure of now.”

More information on bus routes and schedules, bike rack information, and any other transit information can be found at