HUB Cycling's Submission for 2023 Provincial Budget Consultations

HUB Cycling staff ride their bikes up Pipeline Road through Stanley Park during their 2022 Annual Staff Retreat. They are riding in the temporary bike lane that is separated from vehicle traffic by orange cones.

June 28, 2022

Since 1998, HUB Cycling has been working on removing barriers to cycling, while cultivating the health, environmental, and economic benefits that active transportation can bring. HUB has educated hundreds of thousands of people, motivated communities across the region, and championed improvements such as #UnGapTheMap to create a connected cycling network. More cycling means healthier, happier, more connected communities. We’re leading the way in making cycling an attractive choice for people of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds.

Listed below are HUB Cycling's recommendations submitted to the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services Pre-Budget Consultations 2023 urging the provincial government to expand and improve our active transportation and new mobility options.

 

Recommendation #1:

Allocate at least 11% ($104 Million/year) of the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure’s Service Plan Budget towards active transportation (AT). Consistently increase funding year after year to match Clean BC targets of trips made by walking, cycling, and transit to 30% by 2030, 40% by 2040, and 50% by 2050.

 

Explanation of this recommendation:

  1. Invest at least $45 million/year in BC Active Transportation Infrastructure Grants and AT projects. Allocate at least $59 million/year for MOTI jurisdiction cycling-specific funding to effectively and quickly close Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure jurisdiction cycling network gaps so that they are comfortable for most people.
  2. Increase the maximum cost-sharing grant that a jurisdiction can get for a project from $500,000 to $5 million to improve the quality and functionality of the infrastructure as part of a meaningful network.
  3. Invest locally and support local engagement, direction, and planning of the transportation system. In Metro Vancouver, deliver AT grants via TransLink as they already fund other AT projects.
  4. Ensure future investments support improved outcomes for marginalized communities, particularly people of colour and First Nations communities who have historically been underinvested in or harmed by transportation funding and policy.
  5. Expand programs like Safe Routes to School and Everyone Rides Grades 4 and 5s, to raise a generation of sustainable transportation users and safe road users.
  6. Fund and build long-distance cycle highways, building a world-class province-wide rural-suburban-urban cycling network.
  7. Increase funding for education, promotion and enabling AT use. Provide $2/capita/year for cycling programming (promo, enabling like Go by Bike Week, Bike to School Week, Streetwise Cycling, Safe Routes to School, etc).
  8. Cycle Tourism - Fund cycle highways and trails used by AT visitors and residents that have the potential to significantly increase tourism revenues by providing regional connections between major destinations. 
  9. Allocate funding and staff time to conduct a review of the BC Motor Vehicle Act to better protect vulnerable road users in the current fiscal year.
  10. Robustly develop and fund multimodal transportation projects that integrate AT and transit use. Build and/or fund first/last mile/km infrastructure connections to transit stations/stops, with secure bike parking.

 

Recommendation #2: 

Provide means-tested low-cost financing options that allow the purchase, lease or use of electric-assist cycles and cargo cycles. 

Provide means-tested rebates for conversion kits for old bikes and new electric-assist cycles, which included cargo cycles, adult tricycles, tandems, and hand cycles, especially for disabled and financially marginalized persons.

 

Explanation of this recommendation:

Electric-assist bicycles increase the number and length of cycling trips people make and enable people with physical challenges to cycle for transportation. Cargo bicycles enable people to carry children or larger loads on their bicycles. They are also used by businesses for deliveries. Adaptive cycles are bicycles and tricycles specifically designed for people with physical and developmental disabilities. They may or may not have electric assist. 

  1. Means-tested rebates for electric-assist bicycles, adaptive cycles, and cargo bicycles that are in relative proportion to the EV rebates currently provided provincially;
  2. Means-tested rebate for purchasing conversion kits that turn a conventional bicycle into an electric-assist bicycle.
  3. Means-tested low-cost financing options that allow the purchase, lease or use of electric-assist bicycles, adaptive cycles, and cargo bicycles by those of limited financial means; 
  4. Include electric-assist and pedal-powered cycles on the list of medical equipment and devices eligible for subsidies for those using these cycles for essential basic mobility; 
  5. Grants for municipalities, not-for-profits, universities and businesses for programs to enable people to try and adopt electric-assist bicycles, adaptive cycles, and cargo bicycles; and 
  6. Conduct research to determine how much electric-assist bicycles reduce motor vehicle trips and kilometers driven.
  7. Undertake research to understand the feasibility and safety aspects of micromobility solutions like electric-assist scooter-share, e.g. the number of accidents per 100k rides, the severity of injuries by e-vehicle type, etc. 

 

Recommendation #3: 

Prioritize transportation investments in safe equitable healthy independent mobility. A fundamental change is needed in the way transportation investments are planned and evaluated. Providing equitable access to safe basic healthy independent mobility should be the priority over incremental travel time improvements to those that already have access to basic mobility.

 

Explanation of this recommendation:

While progress has been made in portions of communities across B.C., there are still many people living in locations that do not have safe convenient active transportation facilities. HUB Cycling’s State of Cycling research found that only 46% of the cycling network in Metro Vancouver is comfortable for most people. 

While the lack of safe facilities prevents most people from using active transportation, certain groups face more significant challenges than others. To meet equity goals outlined in Move. Commute. Connect. - CleanBC, BC's strategy for cleaner, more active transportation, the provincial government must primarily focus on addressing the barriers faced by disabled persons, children, seniors and women in Indigenous, rural, suburban and urban communities, especially those with low incomes. In many cases, these barriers deny disabled persons the essential independent mobility required daily. They are often deprived of employment, educational, social, and recreational opportunities that many others take for granted.

The government must empower racialized and financially marginalized communities by funding targeted active transportation projects in these communities. Lack of access to safe active transportation infrastructure has contributed to rising obesity and diabetes rates and contributes to a mounting toll of injuries and fatalities to people walking and cycling without other options than traveling on unsafe streets. Research shows that people with low-income walk and bicycle more than people in the upper-income brackets, but there are limited active transportation options for low-income individuals and families. Lack of transportation options often leads to restricted employment possibilities and low school attendance.

We recommend that the government develop programs and funding streams to prioritize investments in marginalized communities. A dedicated funding stream must be created for First Nations in an effort to empower them to develop programs that work best for their community needs.

 


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.