10/06/2014 08:09 EDT | Updated 12/06/2014 05:59 EST

Michael Balshaw frustrated with TransLink after losing his bike

A Vancouver man is frustrated with TransLink after losing his bike on the crowded transit system — and he's not alone.

Since the beginning of 2014, TransLink says 31 bikes have been stolen from buses and trains. 

In Michael Balshaw's case, he got off a bus, and it drove off before he could retrieve his bike from the rack in the front. 

For no extra charge, TransLink will allow riders to put bikes on the bus's front rack, but Balshaw says there are challenges.

"Drivers are trying to get to their next stop so you have to get on and get off as fast as you can," he said. "So you pull down the rack, put your bike on and you just jump on, but it's hard to stay near the front where you can watch."

A couple of weeks ago, when Balshaw got on in Kerrisdale, the bus was crowded and he got shuffled to the back and had to exit through the back door. Balshaw says the bus left as soon as he got off.

When he called TransLink's lost property office, Balshaw says he was told no bike fitting that description had been turned in.

TransLink's advice? Sit at the front of the bus and keep an eye on your bike. When you leave, tell the driver that you need to remove it.

Balshaw says he doesn't blame Translink, but thinks there should be some kind of system to let a driver know that people in the back need time to get their bikes off.

Other cyclists say the system is pretty good the way it is. You just need to hold your ground —​ and stay up front.