In Toronto, cyclists form a first-of-its-kind union

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“I’ve been riding my bike for nearly 40 years in the city, and it’s high time we have something like a union,” Ms. Marks explained last weekend. “I don’t fly around like the youngsters. But if we were able to have better bike lanes and benefits like a union, you’d see more people out here who are my age.”

Believed to be a global first, the union already has enrolled hundreds of card-carrying members since it formed in May. Modeled on auto programs like AAA, the union plans to offer members insurance, roadside assistance, and advocacy on their behalf – all for a $24 annual fee.

“Our primary goal is give a voice to urban cyclists who use their bikes in their daily lives as a mode of transportation,” explains David Meslin, founder of the Toronto Cyclists Union. “Cyclists don’t feel safe on the streets, and if they know there is a group fighting for safer conditions, I believe a lot more will join.”

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