Ontario Improving Cycling Across the Province
New Action Plan, Network and Skills Guide Promote Safe and Convenient Cycling
Ontario is improving cycling across the province by launching a number of new initiatives to encourage people to get around by bike, improve safety and provide more travel options.
Kathryn McGarry, Minister of Transportation and Daiene Vernile, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport, were at the Ontario Bike Summit to announce #CycleON Action Plan 2.0, the new provincewide cycling network and the Cycling Skills Guide.
Action Plan 2.0 outlines the next steps in achieving the goals of #CycleON: Ontario's Cycling Strategy. This includes actions that help design healthy, active, and prosperous communities, improve cycling infrastructure, make highways and streets safer, promote cycling awareness and behavioural shifts, and increase cycling tourism opportunities. The plan also includes developing a comprehensive cycling education framework that provides standards for curriculum, supports the development and certification of instructors, and delivers cycling education courses across the province.
The cycling network, identified for long-term development, includes over 9,800 km of cycling routes that connect the regions of the province, providing access to major communities and destinations. About half of these network routes already exist, incorporating large segments of the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail, the Great Trail, the Greenbelt Cycling Route and other cycling routes.
Action Plan 2.0 and the new cycling network build on the substantial investments that Ontario has already made in new bike lanes, bicycle parking, and other cycling infrastructure across the province.
Ontario's plan to support care, create opportunity and make life more affordable during this period of rapid economic change 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, and 65 or over, through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation.
- #CycleON: Ontario’s Cycling Strategy was first announced in 2013 as a blue print to promote safe cycling and encourage more people to ride their bikes to work, school and for recreation.
- The Climate Change Action Plan and carbon market form the backbone of Ontario's strategy to cut greenhouse gas pollution to 15 per cent below 1990 levels by 2020, 37 per cent by 2030 and 80 per cent by 2050. The government will report on the plan's implementation annually and review the plan at least every five years.
- The Ontario Municipal Commuter Cycling (OMCC) program is providing $94 million in direct funding to 118 municipalities in 2017-18 to support the development of commuter cycling infrastructure.
- The Ontario Municipal Cycling Infrastructure Program is helping 37 municipalities across the province build or improve cycling infrastructure.
- Through the Bike Parking Capital Funding Program, the government invested $1 million to support the construction of 1,600 bike parking spaces at 11 provincial tourism and cultural attractions across the province, including rings, racks, indoor lockers and storage rooms.
- 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.
“I believe that families want to have choices — whether it’s driving kids to lessons, riding a bike to get to work, taking public transit or walking. Cycling is a healthy transportation option that benefits everyone in Ontario. Our government will continue to invest in our cycling network to ensure that biking is a safe, reliable and enjoyable travel option.”
“The popularity of cycling is picking up speed across the province. By equipping people with cycling skills, improving bike safety and promoting the benefits of cycling, we’re encouraging even more people to get out of their cars and onto their bikes. Ontario’s new provincewide cycling education framework, part of #CycleON 2.0, will provide riders of all ages and skill levels with the knowledge and confidence they need to bike safely in any situation. Together with municipalities, the public, road users, businesses and non-governmental organizations, we will continue to make Ontario a North American leader in cycling.”
“We’re making it easier for people to choose and use low-carbon transportation to save money and reduce greenhouse gas pollution from transportation, a sector that contributes the most emissions in the province. Ontario’s Cycling Strategy is an important part of our Climate Change Action Plan and will make it easier for more people in Ontario to get on their bikes and pedal their way to a cleaner, healthier future.”