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Bike storage cars being added to GO trains through Guelph

There may soon be more space for people taking their bicycle with them on Toronto-bound GO trains

There may soon be more space for people taking their bicycle with them on Toronto-bound GO trains. Later this spring, Metrolinx officials plan to add five cars to cope with the increased demand along the line that goes through Guelph.

Those new train cars, which are to feature bike storage on the main level and passenger seating above, are expected to be added to the local line in mid- to late-May. Once that’s done, there will be a total of nine bike cars on the route.

This is being done in response to a “big uptick” in the number of people taking their bikes and e-bikes with them to Toronto along the Guelph line during the past year, explained Metrolinx spokesperson Andrea Ernesaks.

“What we’re seeing anecdotal is … a lot more people doing gig work in the form of food delivery – things like Uber Eats and Skip the Dishes,” she said. “A lot of people are tending to come into Toronto to do that because Toronto has such a high visibility market for food delivery.

“People are taking the GO train in with their bikes and e-bikes into Toronto … and then head back home in the evening.”

However,  Ernesaks explained, much of that occurs in the area between Bramalea and Toronto’s Union Station, which is part of the Guelph line.

Each of the cars features storage for 22 bicycles and e-bikes, and will be added to the end of the train, Ernesaks noted.

Though the decision to add bike cars was made by Metrolinx officials, it was announced via social media last week by Prabmeet Sarkaria, provincial minister of transportation.

“Additional staff have also been assigned to enforce the rules, keep customers safe and to ensure bikes are dispersed evenly across trains,” Sarkaria said.

Metrolinx is also set to implement new e-bike rules regarding what is and isn’t allowed.

Those changes, to come into force on April 9, include a requirement that all e-bike batteries comply with certified safety standards, and that e-bike battery charging be prohibited on trains and at stations.