Cyclists are starting to use Surrey’s first secure bike parkade at King George Station, the second of several parkades TransLink intends to open at SkyTrain stations.
One already exists at Main Street-Science World and officials say more are on the way at Commercial-Broadway, Metrotown and Joyce-Collingwood as those stations are upgraded.
Cycling advocates say the 70-space King George parkade is a boon for Surrey-area cycle commuters who want to ride their bikes to SkyTrain and take transit from there.
“This can accommodate a lot more cyclists,” said Gordon Hall, co-chair of bike advocacy group HUB.
There had been a long waiting list for the 60 existing rented bike lockers at King George.
The station has the highest demand for bike parking in the region because bikes can’t be taken on SkyTrain during rush hour in the peak direction.
Bike theft had been a major problem for cyclists who locked their bikes elsewhere in the area, Hall said.
Cyclists sign up for an account with TransLink at translink.ca/bikeparkade and then get a key card to access the locked room, where they lock up under video surveillance.
Hall and others predict the newly opened bike parkade will make it easier for cyclists to confidently store their bikes and take transit, rather than drive.
It’s much cheaper than the $8 a day to park a car at the adjacent King George park-and-ride lot.
Cyclists pay TransLink $1 a day to use the parkade (after an $8 initial registration fee) and the maximum charge is $8 per month no matter how much it’s used.
That’s also cheaper than TransLink’s rented individual bike lockers, which go for $10 a month.
“It really expands the opportunities for cycling South of the Fraser,” said City of Surrey transportation manager Jaime Boan.
Most cyclists don’t want to bike more than five to 10 kilometres to work, Boan said, adding secure bike parking at King George is within that comfortable biking distance for large numbers of residents in Newton, Guildford and Fleetwood.
Surrey has been steadily adding designated bike routes at a rate of about 12 kilometres a year.
They now crisscross much of the city and include completely separated bike paths, on-street bikeways and recommended neighbourhood routes.
Boan and Hall both think there’s potential for at least one more bike parkade in the Surrey City Centre area.
“The city’s doing a really good job of building safe cycling networks with really safe, quiet neighbourhood routes,” Hall said. “This is the next stage – having somewhere to securely lock your bike when you get there so you can do your shopping or go to appointments on bicycle without having to drive.”