Hamilton

City should offer cyclists free rides up and down escarpment: report

Hamilton is considering offering free rides up and down the escarpment on HSR buses for cyclists — and it won't even cost much.

It won't cost much, a staff report says, and it will encourage people to ride their bikes

The city is considering offering free rides for cyclists to travel up and down the escarpment. (@aidan_johnson on Twitter)

Hamilton is considering offering free rides up and down the escarpment on HSR buses for cyclists — and it won't even cost much.

City officials say such a move would address safety concerns for cyclists travelling up and down the escarpment. And the program wouldn't cost much, if anything, says a staff report coming to city council's general issues committee on Thursday.

The issue of cyclists' safety came to the forefront after a 53-year-old kindergarten teacher, Jay Keddy, was struck and killed on the Claremont Access en route to a prayer meeting in 2015.

Coun. Terry Whitehead suggested delineated bike lanes as a possible solution. Last November, councillors voted to pursue the idea of offering free HSR rides up and down the mountain for anyone with a bicycle.

Transit staff worked with public works to address a number of obstacles in implementing the plan. That includes bike rack availability, fare equality, fare evasion and operating delays.

The investigation found a free ride program would encourage cycling among residents, provide drivers travel options and support the city's goals of sharing the road with cyclists.

Councillors will vote on this on March 23. 

If given the green light, the city would launch the program on May 29, which just so happens to be Bike to Work Day.

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