Canada creates first-ever fund for cycling paths and trails

March 15, 2021
The first-of-its-kind fund in Canada is part of the government’s public and active transit investment and will support bike lanes, pathways, pedestrian bridges and more.

The government of Canada plans to create a fund to support new and expanded networks of pathways, bike lanes, trails, pedestrian bridges, repairs and planning studies across the country. The government plans to invest C$400 million (US$320.71 million) as part of its dedicated investment to public and active transit.

“Canadians love using safe cycling paths and trails to get around their towns and cities. It’s a great way to stay healthy, enjoy nature and connect to public transit and it is good for the environment. This investment will make it easier for more people to get around on foot, bikes, scooters, wheelchairs and e-bikes,” said Canada Minister of Infrastructure and Communities Catherine McKenna.

The new investment will support the government’s first Active Transportation Strategy, which aims to “coordinate active transportation investments that reflect best practice planning, design, regulations and standards across levels of government, Indigenous communities, not-for-profits and the private sector.”

The announcement of the new fund took place in Vancouver, British Columbia, which has created 325 kilometers (201.9 miles) of new bike paths and encouraged cycling and transit use through changes in zoning laws. The government says this has boosted public transportation, including active transportation, to 54 percent of trips last year.

“By providing British Columbians with more active transportation options, like walking paths and bike lanes, we are supporting healthier communities across the province of B.C.,” said Canada Minister of Environment and Climate Change Jonathan Wilkinson. “Active transportation benefits our health and well-being, creates cleaner air and supports good jobs. Investments like today’s will help ensure that we continue to meet the environmental goals and economic ambitions of Canadians at the same time.”

The government of Canada explains investing in public transit and active transit will stimulate the economy in the short term through construction and manufacturing, while increasing productivity and helping fight climate change in the long term.

About the Author

Mischa Wanek-Libman | Group Editorial Director

Mischa Wanek-Libman serves as editor in chief of Mass Transit magazine and group editorial director of the Infrastructure and Aviation Group at Endeavor Business Media. She is responsible for developing and maintaining the editorial direction of the group and is based in the western suburbs of Chicago.

Wanek-Libman has spent more than 20 years covering transportation issues including construction projects and engineering challenges for various commuter railroads and transit agencies. She has been recognized for editorial excellence through her individual work, as well as for collaborative content. 

She is an active member of the American Public Transportation Association's Marketing and Communications Committee and serves as a Board Observer on the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC) Board of Directors.  

She is a graduate of Drake University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communication with a major in magazine journalism and a minor in business management.