Major New Investment to Make Cycling Safer and More Convenient
More Bike Lanes and Cycling Infrastructure Part of Ontario’s Climate Change Action Plan
Ontario is making it safer and more convenient for people to get around by bike, by more than doubling its investment in local cycling to build bike lanes and other cycling infrastructure in towns and cities across the province. This investment is part of Ontario's Climate Change Action Plan and is funded by proceeds from the province's cap on pollution and carbon market.
Steven Del Duca, Minister of Transportation, and Eleanor McMahon, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport, were in Toronto today where they were joined by Cristina Martins, MPP for Davenport and Ana Bailão, Deputy Mayor for Toronto and East York to announce the recipients of the Ontario Municipal Commuter Cycling Program--and an increase in the program's funding.
The City of Toronto will use this funding to help deliver their Ten Year Cycle Network Plan and to expand the Bike Share Toronto system with up to 300 new Bike Share locations, 3,000 bikes, and 6,000 docks. More cycling infrastructure and expansion of the bike share program will encourage people to cycle more often, improve safety and provide more travel options.
Active transportation is a critical part of the transportation system, and across Ontario, 120 municipalities from Essex County to Thunder Bay will receive funding from the province to build more bike lanes and other cycling infrastructure, or enhance existing infrastructure.
Making cycling safer and more convenient is part of Ontario's plan to create fairness and opportunity during this period of rapid economic change. The plan includes a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, easier access to affordable child care, and free prescription drugs for everyone under 25 through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation.
- The province is investing $93 million this year, more than doubling the initial $42.5 million announced earlier this year. Toronto is receiving $25.6 million.
- All Ontario municipalities will have additional opportunities to apply for and benefit from the 4-year program.
- The Ontario Municipal Commuter Cycling Program builds on Ontario’s Cycling Tourism Plan: Tour by Bike and the Ontario Municipal Cycling Infrastructure Program, helping 37 municipalities across the province build or improve cycling infrastructure. About 1.5 million people in Ontario hop on their bikes at least once a week during the spring, summer and fall, and many cycle year-round.
- A 2016 survey found that over three quarters of Bike Share members felt that their riding behaviour has increased as a result of using Bike share.
- The Ontario Municipal Commuter Cycling Program is a commitment under Ontario’s five-year Climate Change Action Plan, which aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 15 per cent below 1990 levels by 2020, 37 per cent by 2030 and 80 per cent by 2050.
- #CycleON: Ontario’s Cycling Strategy was announced in 2013 to promote safe cycling and encourage more people to ride their bikes to work, school and for recreation.
“Cycling is a convenient and sustainable way to get around and that is why we are committed to building more cycling infrastructure to make it easier for people to bike. Our government looks forward to continue working with our partners and the cycling community to ensure we create a safe and integrated cycling network.”
“Cycling keeps our communities healthy, active and well connected. We want to ensure that people across Ontario have the infrastructure they need to keep cycling safe, accessible and easy for all. The benefits to jumping on a bike are endless – it can be a wonderful way to explore our cities and a healthy method to get those much-needed errands done. Through the Ontario Municipal Commuter Cycling Program, we’re building on the vision to create cycling-friendly roads that municipalities want and deserve.”
“Reducing greenhouse gas pollution from transportation is one of the most important actions we can take to fight climate change. Creating more bike lanes in communities big and small makes it easier and safer for people across the province to choose cleaner, quicker ways of getting around. This investment shows how our Climate Change Action Plan and carbon market are working together to build a healthier planet for future generations.”
“This is about giving Toronto residents more options to get around the city. The City of Toronto will use this funding to help deliver the City's Ten Year Cycle Network Plan and for expanding Bike Share Toronto. Cycling infrastructure and expansion of the bike share program will encourage people to cycle more often, improve safety and provide more travel options. Whether it’s by foot, bike, public transit or car, we’re working with the Government of Ontario to invest in the City’s transportation network to get Toronto moving.”