News / Vancouver

What’s faster? Vancouver mayor, commuters race bikes vs. transit vs. cars

Bikes and buses defeated cars as the fastest way to get from point A to point B in a race between cyclists, transit users and drivers to Downtown Vancouver during Wednesday morning’s rush hour.

Eleven teams competed in the annual Share the Road Challenge to kick off the HUB Bike to Work Week running from May 25 to 31.

Teams of three started from the same location and raced to Georgia and Granville via different modes of transportation, with the time it took to park included in the final results. Cyclists won the majority of the races – although one winner used a combination of cycling and transit – followed closely by transit users with drivers in third place.

Coun. Andrea Reimer took first prize for the City of Vancouver for her crowded, 14-minute trip on the SkyTrain from Commercial Drive. She beat Mayor Gregor Robertson, who was fairly sweaty when he arrived two minutes later after an “exhilarating” bicycle ride. (He put in an “extra oomph” to try to win the race, but got stuck in bike traffic.)

Coun. Kerry Jang placed last with a 22-minute drive in his red convertible.

“It did cost me $5 to park the car and I was stuck in traffic a bit,” Jang said. “I really got to soak up the sun and enjoy myself, but it’s not a great way of getting around when you have to.”

The three politicians said the results point to the need for a ‘Yes’ vote in the transit referendum ending on May 29.

“Cars are fine if you’ve got time, but if you’ve got business to do it’s got to be transit,” Jang said.

Nearly 50 per cent of all trips made in Vancouver last year were by cycling, walking or transit, according to a city survey of 2,500 residents. The city’s goal is to increase that to two thirds by 2040 in its bid to reduce congestion and encourage active transportation.

But only 41.9 per cent of voters have cast ballots so far in the Metro Vancouver transit referendum. The city insists it does not have a Plan B for increasing transit if the plebiscite for an extra sales tax fails.

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