Justin Lafontaine, project lead and founder of the Bike Train is looking for your support! Please take a few minutes to email him with a letter of support, whether you took the Bike Train this year or are hoping to in the future. The continued success of this initiative depends on positive support and feedback from cyclists. Letters should be sent by this Thursday, November 29th.
Here is Justin's latest communication on this:
Dear Bike Train partners and supporters,
With your support, the pilot year of the Toronto-Niagara Bike Train Initiative was a resounding success. The service officially launched with 2 media events on June 5 and operated over 4 weekends during the summer, receiving an overwhelmingly positive response from passengers, industry and the media. The Bike Train also recently won the "I Bike T.O. First Annual Award" and was acknowledged at "The Trail Ahead: Beyond Regeneration" conference in Toronto.
The Bike Train generated over 25 media hits with a reach of 3+ million including significant coverage in:
- The Globe and Mail
- The Toronto Star
- The Toronto Sun
- CTV News
- Niagara Falls Review
- St. Catharines Standard
- Canadian Travel Press
The project website received over 20,000 unique visitors from around the world in just 6 months. In addition, 375 have signed up to the E-list, 75 Bike Train passengers and supporters have joined the "Take the Train - Bring Your Bike!" Facebook group, while others have posted their unique, often humorous travel stories on their weblogs. For a full media list and web links visit www.biketrain.ca.
In total, 286 passengers traveled on the Bike Train with a notable diversity of age, abilities and group affiliations. There was an average of 90% capacity on Saturday departures from Toronto; 2 out of 4 were at 100% capacity.
Passenger evaluation survey results indicated:
- 71% had never, or very rarely travelled (less than once a year) to the Niagara Region to cycle
- 89% travelled with family and/or friends
- 72% stayed overnight
- 57% were between 30 and 50
- 55% indicated an annual household income of over $75,000
- 94% indicated they were very likely or definitely going to take the Bike Train in the future
Interestingly, 26% of respondents indicated they chose to take the Bike Train because it was a more sustainable travel option, 25% chose the Bike Train for convenience, while many who answered "Other" added that "it sounded like fun!".
Planning is now underway to expand the Bike Train service and promotion in 2008. Numerous emails and phone calls have already been received from people across Canada, the US and Europe who are planning their summer vacations and want to travel on the Bike Train.
YOUR CONTINUED SUPPORT IS NEEDED!
We are currently seeking letters of support and sponsorships to help secure vital funding for project development and operations. If you would like more information or a "letter template" please let me know. Letters received will be included with funding proposals being submitted and under consideration.
***Deadline for letters of support is Thursday, November 29***
If you would like to discuss the unique sponsorship and advertising opportunities, as well as how your organization or business can get more involved, please call me at 416-338-5090.
I look forward to hearing from you!
Project Lead and Founder
Bike Train Initiative
c/o Transportation Planning
City of Toronto
850 Coxwell Avenue
Toronto, ON M4C 5R1
City of Toronto | Government of Ontario | Niagara-on-the-Lake Chamber of Commerce | VIA Rail Canada
Tourism Niagara | Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation
Additional I Bike T.O. coverage of the Bike Train can be found here.