Bikes banned from ALL trains during peak hour
December 31, 2007, 4:52 am
Filed under: commute, cycling | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

EXCLUSIVE: BIKES will be banned on all trains at peak hour from tomorrow, sparking an outcry from cyclists and public transport groups.

The new rule, hidden in a State Government document, has been posted on the Metlink website.

The Government has not announced the rule despite its publication in the Victorian Fares and Ticketing Manual.

And the Herald Sun understands the city’s private rail operator, Connex, has not been notified of the change.

The rule flies in the face of the Government’s push for transport to be more environmentally sustainable.

Just last week VicRoads, the Government body responsible for the road network, urged motorists to get out of their cars and on to bikes to take the pressure off the city’s freeways.

The new ticketing manual, effective from January 1, states “bicycles will not be permitted on services travelling through Zone 1 that; arrive in Melbourne between 7am and 9am and; depart Melbourne between 4pm and 7pm”.

Public Transport Users Association president Daniel Bowen said it was a knee-jerk reaction to the problem of overcrowding on trains.

“They’ve rushed this in without properly telling people and without properly even telling the train operators.

“We’re always told leaving the car at home is the best way to go — that we should use public transport, we should walk, we should ride our bikes.”

Budding cyclist Dimi Yangos, 45, said the ban would force her back into the car.

The Highett mum had plans to ride her bike to the station in the CBD this summer.

“I wanted to start riding occasionally to work because I know a few other people who do it and I got the idea after taking part in Ride to Work.

“Now I’ll just have to go back to using the car and catching the train.”

Cyclist Shane Smith, 45, of Pakenham, said commuters should be encouraged to use their bikes.

“At Pakenham there are people who catch the train for a certain distance and ride the last few kilometres into work for their own exercise and to get their cars off the road.”

Connex customer services manager Geoff Young said commuters and the company’s 1000 staff needed to be properly informed of the change for it to work.

“We’ve always discouraged bikes on trains. This formalises that policy into law.

“But people should be given the chance to become accustomed with it.”

A Government spokesman said the aim was to reduce stopover times at stations and improve passenger comfort.

“At peak times when it’s hard to get bikes on and off trains we want to improve the comfort and punctuality of services by getting more space,” spokesman Dan Ward said.

He said passengers would not be fined for taking a bike on a train at peak hour.

“We expect Connex and V/Line to take a common sense approach and to advise passengers of the rail rules. We won’t be running out and imposing fines,” he said.

Mr Bowen was not convinced. “If it’s banned, then presumably under the legislation it would become like any other offence, such as smoking or littering or putting feet on seats,” he said.

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3 Comments so far
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Yes, it is a crock and I wouldn’t blame you if you organised a protest. Let’s hope your state cycling organisations make the appropriate amount of noise and get the decision reversed so you don’t have to.

I’m getting tired of State Governments paying lip service to public transport. When you’ve seen what is available overseas you know Australia is a long way behind. Admittedly we don’t have a huge population but there is still no reason why I or anyone else living in a capital city shouldn’t be able to take efficient (time & cost) public transport to and from work. There is also no reason why we shouldn’t be able to ride our bikes safely to and from work.

I’ll get off my soap box know as I’m sure I’m preaching to the converted.

Great blog by the way but what on earth were you thinking riding 100km+ on a 40 degree day? Last time I did something like that I suffered for months afterwards so I don’t ride when the temp is above 35 now and I drink a LOT of water.


Comment by Luke Hallam

I take the frankston line in the morning, and although admittedly not with my bike, I am a keen cyclist that often takes my bike on trains. The issue with this ban is that it’s by far not all train in these blocks of time that are chocful of people. In the morning, there would only be a few of the trains on the frankston line where a bicycle would have trouble fitting in, and in the evening 3 hours of ban is ridiculous. It’s really not that bad on most lines.

Maybe they should change the rule to something like…
if there are more than 10 people standing in the door area than you aren’t allowed to board with your bike. Wow! Problem Solved, and it’ll encourage cyclists to wheel their bike to the end of the platform where the cabins aren’t as full.

Comment by Michael

Sorry if I already posted this, but I don’t see here:

Comment by Bin the Bike Ban

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