Clean BC 'Roadmap to 2030' Recommendations

June 30, 2021

HUB Cycling supports the Clean BC initiative and the efforts for a ‘Roadmap to 2030’ to help achieve greenhouse gas targets and reduce pollution.  

Active transportation, including cycling, has low or no emissions and can play a large role in reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. In addition, new types of micro mobility including e-bikes, bike share, and e-bike cargo delivery, provide many opportunities to shift transportation away from a reliance on motor vehicles.

Active transportation is very affordable and is an essential element in shifting toward a greener future. Electric vehicles are a good step, but overreliance on motor vehicles will still result in similar results to today with sprawling communities, congestion, and related health issues.  

Research shows that people who cycled daily had 84% lower carbon emissions from all their daily travel than those who did not. Further, an average person who shifted from driving to cycling for just one day a week can cut their carbon footprint by 3.2kg of CO₂ –equivalent to
the emissions from driving a car for 10km.1

Active transportation would not only help reduce GHGs, but would pay dividends in healthy, active, happy communities, reduced traffic congestion, reduced health care costs, and a number of other positive impacts.  

However, there needs to be more safe and comfortable infrastructure to get more people cycling and using active transportation. For example, in Metro Vancouver, only 46% of existing cycling infrastructure is rated as ‘comfortable for most’ by the State of Cycling report. 

COVID-19 illustrated the desire of many to be more active and the lack of infrastructure. In Metro Vancouver, several municipalities put in temporary walking and cycling facilities to help fulfill the demand. A temporary (now permanent) protected bike lane in the City of Vancouver became the busiest cycling route in the city. 

In order to increase active transportation use across the province, increased funding needs to be put into active transportation infrastructure; long-distance facilities (e.g. cycle highways); emerging micromobility options such as bike share and e-bikes; data collection, education, and promotion; end of trip facilities; and innovative micro-freight delivery options, along with support for compact land use principles. 


Increase Funding for Active Transportation


Recent advances by the Province, including the BC Active Transportation Design Guide and Active Transportation Strategy, as well as the $18 million announced for active transportation and removal of PST on e-bikes are excellent steps toward increasing active transportation. 

Active transportation funding needs to continue to be increased. Demand for active transportation funds far outstrips funding available, as evidenced by the municipal demand for the BC Active Transportation Infrastructure grants.  

The BC Government should adhere to their Cycling Policy, and both define project scope and allocate funding for all new and improved highways to include cycling facilities built to the standards in the BC Active Transportation Design Guide. Further, all Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure contractors should be mandated to read and abide by the Guide. By providing cycling facilities to the same standard of comfort, convenience, and quality as motor vehicle infrastructure, the BC Government will encourage people to choose active transportation and reduce their GHG emissions.

The BC Government currently spends $1.50 per person per year on active transportation. Ontario and Quebec plan to spend significantly more on active transportation than BC does presently. Globally, leaders in active transportation spend a much higher amount per capita, including the Netherlands ($48 per person), Denmark ($34 per person) and New Zealand ($24 per person).2 

HUB Cycling recommends that funding for active transportation should increase so that total government spending (all levels) on active transportation is at least $21/person/year to complete active transportation and cycling networks and at least an additional $2/person/year on active transportation promotion, enabling, and education. 


Opportunities in Active Transportation


  • Increased funding for active transportation

    • Increase funding for active transportation from the current $1.50/person/year to a total of $23/person/year ($21 base, plus $2 for education and promotion) in line with other jurisdictions, in order to meet municipal demand and encourage more people to use active transportation. 


  • Data collection 

    • In order to measure changes in active transportation and the impacts of new active transportation infrastructure, there need to be quality data collection efforts including automatic counters and a comprehensive provincial trip diary survey completed at regular intervals. 


  • Support for cycle highways

    • Cycle highways are continuous cycle paths (usually at least 5 km in length) that have limited stops or intersections, are designed to be comfortable for most people,  are separated from pedestrians and motor vehicles, and are designed for people cycling. Cycle highways provide an easy, comfortable and convenient way for people to go longer distances on cycling infrastructure. Cycle highways also pair well with e-bikes, especially over longer distances. Since cycle highways are long, they often involve a number of different jurisdictions. The Province is well-positioned to convene stakeholders, provide needed funding, and plan cycle highways within BC Government jurisdiction, including to fulfill the Provincial Cycling Policy to build cycling facilities along with all new and improved highways.


  • Education and Promotion

    • Investing in systemic education, programming, and promotion to provide the knowledge, confidence, and motivation for people to choose cleaner transportation options including cycling, walking, and transit, and to do so more safely, will motivate and support people to shift to more sustainable modes of transportation. The BC Government can expand their support for the Everyone Rides Grade 4-5 program so that all BC students receive cycling training, and support online adult education for transportation cycling, such as Streetwise Cycling Online Courses, to expand awareness and access for all BC residents.


  • Legislation and Regulation

    • Updating the BC Motor Vehicle Act will better protect vulnerable road users and improve clarity and accountability for all road users. Infrastructure, vehicles, and technologies have changed dramatically since the Act was last updated. Changes such as introducing a safe passing distance and slower neighbourhood street speeds would improve the safety and attractiveness of choosing active transportation. Our full list of recommended updates can be found in the Position Paper at


  • Micromobility (e.g. Bike share)

    • A number of micromobility devices including bike share, e-bikes, and personal mobility devices provide the opportunity to get more people using these low-carbon devices. Support is needed to revise the Motor Vehicle Act to allow for these devices, provide quality infrastructure for vulnerable road users, and create increased incentives for use.  


  • Support for compact land use principles

    • The design of our built environment has a significant impact on travel choices. The BC government should support compact land use principles, allowing more amenities to be within a short distance, with access by active transportation without the need to rely on a vehicle. 


  • Support for e-cargo bike freight delivery 

    • Freight delivery in urban environments is a necessity in today’s economy, but many of the vehicles currently in use produce unhealthy amounts of pollution, especially NOx and particulate matter. A study in the UK estimated that around 50% of current deliveries in urban areas could be completed by e-cargo bicycles. E-Cargo bikes produce no pollution while in use and require little space for parking during deliveries. The addition of human muscle power and the small vehicle size mean that electricity demands are much lower.

      Since e-cargo bikes can use cycling facilities, they can outperform vehicle speeds in a congested urban environment. E-cargo bikes do need cycling infrastructure that can accommodate their longer and wider frames while providing enough space for passing. Existing loading zones could accommodate loading and unloading. E-cargo bikes can also easily use sidewalk space for parking provided there is sufficient width. E-cargo bikes produce very little noise while in use and emit no exhaust or fumes produced while in operation. There is increased safety for other road users and a much lower likelihood of major injuries as the result of an accident. 

    • There is an opportunity for BC to provide support for e-cargo bike delivery, through funding and incentives, as well as funding for a network of quality cycling infrastructure. The recent partnership between the City of Vancouver and the Province on e-cargo bike micro hubs is an excellent example of the potential. 


  • End-of-trip Facilities

    • Appropriate end-of-trip facilities encourage more people to cycle. These include changing and shower facilities, secure storage, repair stations, and charging options for e-bikes. The BC Government can provide more funding and support for end-of-trip facilities, as well as updating the BC building code with requirements and guidelines for end-of-trip facilities.  


  • E-bikes

    • HUB Cycling is pleased to see e-bike rebates available, as well as the removal of PST on e-bikes sales. E-bikes have the potential to be a game-changer, allowing people to travel further and faster, ‘flattening hills,’  and reducing physical exertion (and sweating), among other benefits. While trading in an older vehicle to get credit for an e-bike is a good incentive, it shouldn’t be restricted to just this. Broader rebates will allow more individuals and businesses to start using e-bikes, further increasing their adoption. 


The climate change mitigation effects of daily active travel in cities

Clean BC