Canberra’s bus company ACTION launched the first trial of bike racks on buses in Australia. This is what ACTION said in their media release on 14 February 1997:
“ACTION will be launching bicycle racks which will be fitted to the fronts of buses and will allow cyclists to reach their destination more quickly by using an environmentally aware means of transport. The first phase of this is to evaluate the bike racks by ACTION operations staff and interested cycling groups.
Bicycle racks are extensively used in some North American cities and if the evaluation is positive the bicycle racks will be eventually fitted to all 333 services which operate between the town centres of Belconnen, Civic, Woden and Tuggeranong.
The racks securely carry two bicycles of almost any style and are quick and easy to load and unload. Preliminary tests on the bicycle racks shows that the bicycles remain fixed securely in place even in the event of heavy braking, and the racks do not scratch bicycles.
As this initiative is the first in Australia, parallel operational and legal evaluation will also be undertaken by ACTION as community and user feedback is assessed.”
Roger Payne, ACTION’s chief engineer, told me at the launch that the bicycle racks are similar to the design used successfully for some years on buses in Seattle. He currently has two buses fitted with the racks, which will be used for the evaluation trials. I understand these will take place off public roads. If successful ACTION plan to fit all 33 articulated buses with the racks at a total cost of $45,000.
If you want to view the racks or be involved in trialling them you should contact Roger Payne at work on phone 207 7640.
ACTION expect to complete the evaluations and have the buses on the roads within four to five months.
Comment: Bike racks are unlikely to be seen on buses in 1997. The holdup appears to be related to concerns by the Federal Office of Road Safety that bike racks on the front of buses are too hazardous to be allowed, despite their increasing use in the USA.