June 01, 2017 (Toronto, ON) – Ontario is making it easier for commuters and families to get around by bike, with new funding to build a better and safer commuter cycling network across the province.Ontario Municipal Commuter Cycling Program (OMCC).
The province is investing $50 million dollars this year from its carbon market to fund this and other new initiatives that support commuter cycling infrastructure. The OMCC will provide eligible municipalities with funding to build more bike lanes and other cycling infrastructure, or enhance existing infrastructure. This investment will help promote safety for cyclists and make cycling more comfortable and appealing for daily commutes and other frequent trips. Investing in cycling infrastructure also helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions across Ontario.
Making it safer and easier to cycle in Ontario is part of our plan to create jobs, grow our economy and help people in their everyday lives.
“Building commuter cycling infrastructure is important in helping us make Ontario a great place to ride a bike. Working together with our partners, the cycling community and local municipalities, I know we will succeed in making Ontario a cycling leader in North America.”
— Steven Del Duca, Minister of Transportation
“Ontario is home to an extensive cycling and trails network that stretches across the province, connects our communities and offers unique views of our urban and rural landscapes. By building new cycling infrastructure, we are making it easier for people to get on their bikes and explore all that Ontario has to offer.”
— Eleanor McMahon, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport
– The application form and program guide for the new commuter cycling program will be available at Grants Ontario on June 5, 2017.
– The OMCC builds on Ontario’s Cycling Tourism Plan: Tour by Bike and the Ontario Municipal Cycling Infrastructure Program, which is helping 37 municipalities across the province build or improve cycling infrastructure.
– #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 recreation destinations.
– 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.
– According to the Canadian Medical Association, a 10 per cent increase in physical activity could reduce direct health care expenditures by $150 million per year.
– 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.
– In 2014, 1.7 million visitors to Ontario participated in cycling and spent $428 million.
– Ontario has over 80,000 km of trails; the second largest network of trails in Canada. Trails contribute to the economy, benefit the environment and improve health. The first annual Ontario Trails week, May 29 to June 4, will be launched this year.