Toronto on track to becoming Ontario's Bike Train hub



    TORONTO, May 21 /CNW/ - The award-winning Bike Train Initiative is
announcing ticket sales and new routes for the 2009 season. Get active, travel
local and cycle Ontario this summer.
    Originally developed by Toronto cyclist Justin Lafontaine and launched in
partnership with VIA Rail between Toronto and Niagara in 2007, the Bike Train
has proven to be a fun, economic and environmentally friendly way to enjoy a
cycling getaway. Getting to the destination is made easy as passengers travel
in comfort while their bicycles are safely secured in a baggage car with bike
racks.
    Knowledgeable Bike Train staff are available onboard to provide cycling
maps and useful information. Passengers join a community of travellers who are
happy to share stories and anecdotes about their trip during the train
journey.
    This summer the Bike Train will connect Toronto with destinations across
Ontario, providing cyclists of all abilities easy access to the Greenbelt,
wine and culinary regions, northern lakes and forests, off-the-beaten-path
towns and villages, world-renowned natural and historical sites, and thousands
of kilometres of recreational trails and on road cycling routes.
    With 1,000 passengers to date and new routes that span the province, the
Bike Train is putting Ontario on the map as a leading cycle tourism
destination in North America.

    
    Toronto-Niagara Greenbelt Express

    -   Adults $62 return, $31 one-way; children 11 and under free
    -   8 weekends from June to October
    -   Stops in Toronto, Niagara Falls and St. Catharines

    Ontario North Bike Train (Toronto-North Bay Pilot)

    -   Adults $153 return; capacity 56
    -   1 weekend: August 7-10
    -   In partnership with Ontario Northland Rail
    

    Pilot Bike Train routes to Eastern Ontario and Southwestern Ontario are
also being developed for 2009. Visit www.biketrain.ca for schedules, tickets
and updates.
    Media tours, photo ops and interviews can be arranged.

    QUOTES

    "The Bike Train is a unique and remarkable success story within the
tourism industry," said the Honourable Monique Smith, Minister of Tourism. "By
expanding bike train service to select parts of the province, this initiative
is helping to revitalize local tourism and is positioning Ontario as a go-to
destination for cycling holidays."

    "Travelling through the Greenbelt by train and by bike is like peanut
butter and jelly; they are made for each other," says Burkhard Mausberg,
President of the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation. "The Toronto-Niagara
Greenbelt Express has provided a connection between the urban and rural
landscape making Ontario's Greenbelt accessible now more than ever. Just like
the delicious sandwich mom used to make, who can resist taking a trip to the
Greenbelt and exploring all of its possibilities."

    "The Bike Train has really been embraced by Toronto cyclists," says Bike
Train founder and Project Director Justin Lafontaine. "People are cycling more
in all aspects of their lives, and vacations are no exception. I'm thrilled
that more people are now able to experience the freedom of cycling holidays."

    
    QUICK FACTS

    -   Bike Train won two Ontario Tourism Awards in 2008: - Best Tourism
        Marketing Partnership & Excellence Award for Tourism Innovation
    -   1,000 Bike Train passengers to date on the Toronto-Niagara Greenbelt
        Express
    -   140km Greater Niagara Circle Route includes Niagara River
        Recreational Trail
    -   900km Waterfront Trail runs from Niagara-on-the-Lake to the Quebec
        border
    -   North Bay features several recreational trails and on road routes
        that pass by lakes, bogs, wilderness and northern communities
    -   Toronto is home to more than 1 million cyclists according to the City
        of Toronto
    

    ABOUT THE BIKE TRAIN INITIATIVE

    The Bike Train Initiative introduces bike racks onboard select passenger
rail trains to destinations across Ontario, making cycling holidays easy and
accessible. The initiative is a project of Transportation Options, a
non-profit organization dedicated to stimulating sustainable systems of
transportation, and is funded by the Ontario Trillium Foundation, Government
of Ontario, and Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation, and supported by more
than 30 organizations and businesses. For more information visit
www.biketrain.ca.




For further information:

For further information: Peter Lipscombe, Marketing Manager, Bike Train
Initiative, Office: (416) 338-0499, Cell: (416) 629-6296, Email:
plipsco@toronto.ca

Organization Profile

Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation

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