Appropriately enough for the Sun, the story's real headline - "Bus fleet's bike racks rarely used" - is rather bloodless, since if you're in a position to be reading it they've got your money. The crux of the Sun's argument is this - that the $2-million it cost to outfit the TTC's modern bus fleet with folding bicycle racks "wasn't worth it," and that it demonstrates "how the transit authority is out of touch with reality."
Presumably, in the Sun's world, the bike racks on this Hamilton Street Railway bus were not a waste of money - because only the TTC is capable of wasting money.
I'll admit that the bike racks aren't used as much as they could be. I've noticed a tendency in Toronto, particularly in recent months, for bicycle riders to dispense with the TTC altogether. But that does not mean they are a waste. The truth is that cities across North America are in the process of, or already have, installed bike racks on their bus fleet. Beyond that, the mere presence of the option is valuable in and of itself. If the TTC had stood fast against bike racks, as the Sun appears to be lamenting, in that parallel universe would it now be criticizing the TTC for being less responsive to its riders than Guelph Transit? This isn't about the possibilities of a choice that people haven't rushed to make - this is more of a flimsy excuse for the Sun to, once again, bash the TTC. Given its own politics, the implication is clear, and disturbing - transit is a "left-wing" concern and conservative-minded folk shouldn't spare two thoughts for it.
In my mind, the real issue with this article is a lack of scientific thinking. If the Sun really wanted to see whether bike rack use in Toronto is behind the curve, there's a simple way to find out - go to the TTC's neighbor agencies and compare usage there. Or, considering it's a GTAH-based paper, shouldn't it also be criticizing the installation of bike racks by GO Transit, Durham Region Transit, Mississauga Transit, the Hamilton Street Railway, even Milton Transit? York Region Transit and Barrie Transit are the only operators from Oshawa to St. Catharines that do not have bike racks on their buses.
That would at least have resulted in a story with more than the vaguest whiff of journalistic value. On the other hand, though, it meant they would have had to find another avenue with which to criticize the TTC yesterday. Not that it's surprising. In my mind, to the Sun, anything that tries to establish a transportation alternative seems to be part of the "War On Cars" and therefore evil.