Bicycle Stations: Indoor Bike Stations at TTC Subway Stations


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A new bike station at Victoria Park helps riders avoid the twin parking perils of bad weather and bike thieves. Bernard Weil/Toronto Star

Toronto’s second indoor bike station has opened at the TTC’s Victoria Park station, providing secure parking for up to 52 bikes.

“I think it’s a great arrangement. We have the bike racks on our buses, but once you get to the subway station you’re left scratching your head,” said city councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong, who chairs Toronto’s Public Works and Infrastructure Committee.

How does it work?

Cyclists register for Toronto’s bike station program at the bicycle station in Union Station on the east side of York St., which is staffed Monday to Friday 8a.m. to noon. They get a key fob to swipe on the entry pad near the door that allows them 24/7 access.

Both stations have cameras and a call-button connected to city security services, said Daniel Egan, Toronto manager of pedestrian and cycling Infrastructure.

How much does it cost?

Toronto’s bike station program offers a one-time lifetime registration fee of $26.91 that covers all the city’s bike stations. After that there’s a $21.53 monthly rate, or $64.57 for four months. The one-day parking fee is $2.15. Cyclists don’t need to register if they’re only paying for one-day access.

The Victoria Park bike station isn’t designed for single use, since it is unstaffed and few people are expected to go all the way to Union to register.

Shouldn’t we offer free parking to encourage people to use bikes and transit?

Minnan-Wong thinks the price is reasonable. “Building the bike station costs money (about $200,000) and we have to try to recover some costs associated with this. This is different than the bike post. They put their bikes in a secure building. Their bikes are kept warm and dry,” he said.

Are more bike stations coming?

Yes. A bigger station will be added to Union Station near Front St., with room for about 180 more bikes, in 2014. The existing 80-space station on the south side will remain. Secure bike stations are also planned as part of the revitalization of Pape station in 2013 and the new Finch West station in 2015.

The Victoria Park bike station has the capacity to expand, said Egan. The bike racks are two-tiered and the high ceiling means there’s room for a third.

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