UBC Reports | Vol. 48 | No. 10 | Aug.
1 , 2002
CanCart really brings home the bacon.
By Brian Lin
Grocery-carrying cyclists and pedestrians in Vancouver now have
a new way to lug their weekly supplies while doing the environment
-- and themselves -- a big favour.
Developed by BikeCartAge, a non-profit organization promoting
carbohydrate-powered transportation, CanCarts (as in "I can
cart") have been popular among UBC students, faculty and staff
who carry anything from books to garden tools.
In the past year, Transport Canada and the B.C. government have
been funding the bike cart project at UBC, which saw the establishment
of six loaner depots around campus and 85 carts made available free
Now the UBC TREK Program Centre is reaching out into the surrounding
neighbourhoods with their pilot Community CanCart Loaner Project.
The vision is to establish and popularize the user-friendly and
virtually indestructible carts through 10 depots in neighbourhood
stores, libraries and community centres. CanCarts are now available
at City Hall, the Safeway store on 10th at Sasamat and Aby's Variety
Store at 4th and Alma.
"All you have to do is fill out a form, show your ID - very
much like when you rent a videotape - and it's yours for a few days,"
says Steve Balyi, marketing and communication manager of the UBC
Trek Program Centre. Long-term loans are also available.
For cyclists, the carts attach easily to any bike tool-free and
even help stabilize the bikes. For pedestrians, the carts are designed
to fit through supermarket check-out aisles and on transit buses.
"We know cyclists love them, now we want to make sure pedestrians
fall in love with them, too," says Balyi, who co-founded BikeCartAge
in 1997 and came to UBC after consulting with the UBC Trek program
on the use of bike carts for several years.
In addition to the convenience factor, Balyi wants to appeal to
users' commitment to the environment and their own health.
"Eighty per cent of the green house (GHG) emission is caused
by transportation in the urban area," says Balyi. The average
household generates 13 trips a day, and the average non-commuting
trip is under six kilometres. These trips produce more than three
tons of GHG emissions per year.
CanCarts can help you stay fit, too.
"We're a society that's big on convenience and labour saving
devices," says Balyi. "The carts make it easier for people
to run those short daily errands on foot or by bike. It's a great
way to get chores done and stay fit at the same time."
For more information and to borrow a cart, call 604-822-CART.