Budget 2021 | Two Important Cycling Successes
May 18, 2021
On April 17, HUB's Executive Director, Erin O’Melinn wrote to provincial ministers to acknowledge two significant cycling announcements in Budget 2021. Erin also encouraged the provincial government to continue investing in cycling network connections, education, and promotion.
Honorable Rob Fleming, Minister of Transportation & Infrastructure
Honorable Bowinn Ma, Minister of State for Infrastructure
Dear Minister Fleming and Minister Ma,
On behalf of HUB Cycling’s more than 45,000 contacts, I am writing to you to express thanks for the investment in cycling and active transportation in Budget 2021.
The pandemic has been a very challenging year for everybody across the province. It has also shown a dramatic increase in ridership for cycling, which provides a physically distanced, convenient mobility option and a way for people to combine their commute with physical activity that improves both physical and mental health in these trying times.
HUB Cycling is pleased to see the PST exemption announced for electric-assist bicycles. E-assist cycles are increasing in popularity. They expand the accessibility of cycling to more ages and abilities, hilly places, and longer distances - commuting from suburbs to job centers, and improving cycle tourism opportunities.
To complement this and leverage e-bikes’ full potential, the Province should build cycle highways that allow people to conveniently and safely travel long distances. The adoption of e-assist bikes will help the Province accomplish its transportation, climate action, poverty reduction, equity, and health goals.
HUB Cycling also acknowledges the positive impact of $18 million in new grants for local governments. The B.C. Active Transport Infrastructure Grants amount this year is more than double what was available in 2020 (170% increase over $8.5 million), which is certainly moving in the right direction. It is still short of HUB Cycling’s recommendation of $45 million/year needed to build and connect cycling networks, which would provide people with truly connected, safe options to reach the Province’s target of doubling the number of trips taken with active transportation in the next nine years.
Historically, the demand for municipal cost-share funding for cycling has always outweighed supply from the Province. Cycling for transportation is quickly growing - even quicker during the pandemic as cycling responds to the increased pressure on physical and mental health, affordability, and distanced social and transportation opportunities - all of which are served by active transportation. HUB Cycling is pleased to see this positive progress and recognition of how important active transportation is to our collective health, mobility, equity, and well-being here in BC.
Promotion and education are a significant part of shifting to more sustainable modes. MoTI is walking the talk by providing support for physical facilities and the awareness and motivation people need to use them. With the ministry’s support, the Everyone Rides Grade 4-5 program is reaching more students with the skills and knowledge to safely and confidently cycle for transportation. This is creating a generation of commuters that feel they have active mobility choices.
Thank you for your continued support of cycling network connections, education, and promotion. Together, this is making our region more robust, resilient, and livable.
Executive Director, HUB Cycling
How you can help?
If possible, consider making a donation to HUB Cycling and support our advocacy work in expanding the cycling network across the region.
Your support enables us to make an impact on people of all ages and abilities, promote access to cycling across regional and diverse communities.
What is the Impact of Your Generous Gift?
- $2,500 will help us develop programs for communities that may face social, cultural, and/or financial barriers to cycling.
- $1,500 helps us maintain and expand our letter-writing tool to enable British Columbians to communicate directly with decision-makers about the importance of investing in improved cycling in BC.
- $500 helps us hire community event partners like the Binner's Project, a like-minded not-for-profit working towards enabling marginalized residents in Downtown Eastside to improve their economic opportunities and ensure recyclables stay out of the landfill.
- $250 helps us provide infrastructure research support needed for an advocacy project like the ‘Main2Marine’ route connecting Dundarave with Ambleside in West Vancouver.
- $100 will help HUB organize online learning to encourage people of all ages and abilities to bike like our Biking for Mental Health webinar.