Why fight?

This page details some arguments about the bans which you may want to consider when discussing this topic.

Table of contents:

Bikes on trains are not the cause of over-crowding. Banning bikes on trains is not the solution to over-crowding.

The State government has no research to back up their flimsy claim that bikes on trains are the cause of over-crowding. Even Blind Freddy can see the cause is increased demand ($1.50/L for petrol, anyone?) and poor management of supply, combined with frequent service cancellations.

The culprits to blame here are the State government and Connex… not cyclists.

With overcrowded roads, rising petrol prices and a limited supply of oil for the world, the State government should be seriously investing in public transport.

People who ride+train as their main commute should be applauded just as conscientious water-savers are now admired. Instead they are being turned into scape-goats for the underfunded and poorly managed Victorian public transport system. Instead of banning bikes on trains, the State government should be expanding carriages with special provisions for bicycles as progressive systems overseas have done. People should be encouraged to consider ride+train as a normal, fun, flexible method of transport. Instead they are made into law-breakers.

Banning bikes on trains will demonise considerate cyclists and not deter inconsiderate ones.

Connex’s Kate De Clercq: “The majority of cyclists think it’s a hassle to travel in peak hour anyway.” This is true. Who wants to have everyone in an overcrowded carriage staring at you like the devil incarnate, if you can avoid it? Most cyclists will avoid peak-hour trains, but there are occasions when you don’t have a choice: unexpected weather, unexpected change of plans, sudden illness, etc etc. On these occasions cyclists appreciate the flexibility of the 2007 law that strongly discouraged but did not outlaw travelling on peak-hour trains with bikes.

So what happens to those cyclists? The times they do take their bikes on trains, they will now be stared down like a criminal. Way to encourage public transport uptake.

And what of those inconsiderate few who force their way onto already-crowded trains? Government spokesman Dan Ward: “We won’t be running out and imposing fines.” So what is the difference between the current situation and the old? Inconsiderate cyclists act the same and get the same response; considerate cyclists lose out big-time by losing their flexibility and the inevitable cold shoulder from other commuters.

The definition of peak-hour is excessive.

Five hours a day?? 4pm to 7pm? (On Connex; 4-6pm on V/Line) Get real. This is over the top and unrealistic. Get to work before 7 and finish after 7?

People take their bikes on trains because they do a bike-PT-bike combination.

That is, they ride to the station, take a train, then ride to their workplace. Bicycle Victoria seems to think that the only reason people take their bike on the train is because they don’t trust locking it up at the station. For some people that may well be the case but for others they have no choice but to take their bike because they need it at the other end.

What’s Bicycle Victoria’s response to that? We recommend that train travellers keep a bike at work if they need a bike during the day. It is ridiculous and unacceptable to expect people to have two bicycles, one for each end of their train journey. For an organisation that claims its aim is to get More people cycling, more often, it’s hard to understand how suggesting people buy a second bike actually helps that.

Cyclists don’t trust the security at stations, and with good reason.

Most stations have a complete dearth of acceptable bike parking. Bike lockers are rare, expensive, and generally unavailable. Bicycle Victoria’s suggestion to introduce bike parking cages is a bandaid solution at best that doesn’t recognise that bike parking at any unstaffed station, and even some staffed ones, is bound to be unsecure and therefore untrustworthy. When your bike is your vehicle, it’s just “inconvenient” if it gets damaged, destroyed or completely stolen.