Life on two wheels is about to get a a lot smoother in Toronto and across the province thanks to the Ontario government.
Minister of Transportation Stephen Del Duca announced on Monday that, as part of Ontario’s climate change action plan, the province will be more than doubling funding for more bike lanes and cycling infrastructure.
Of the newly announced $93-million investment (up from $42.5 million announced earlier this year), Toronto will be receiving $25.6 million.
“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,” Del Duca said in a statement.
“Our government looks forward to continue working with our partners and the cycling community to ensure we create a safe and integrated cycling network.”
Mayor John Tory said the money will go toward expanding the Bike Share program and will help “deliver the City’s Ten Year Cycle Network Plan.”
“This is about giving Toronto residents more options to get around the city,” Tory said in a statement.
“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.”
With the new funding, the Bike Share Toronto system will expand by up to 300 new locations, 3,000 bikes, and 6,000 docks.
This comes less than a week after new census data found that sustainable transportation is on the rise across the GTA.
On Wednesday, data released by Statistics Canada showed 42.5 per cent of commuters living in the GTA commonly used a form of sustainable transportation as their main mode of commuting. That number is largely due to the high proportion of people taking public transit to work.
The new data also shows that both biking and walking to work has increased since 2011 – when the last data was collected.
“No matter where you are in Canada, pretty much, car is the most popular. However it’s been going down in the GTA over the past 20 years,” Jason Gilmore with Statistics Canada explained.
“Fewer than 70 per cent of people who live in the GTA are commuting by car, and public transit has been increasing over time, as has walking and cycling.”