Ontario spending $93 million to expand bike lanes across the province
A bicyclist rides in the bike lane Friday, Jan. 27, 2017 in Minneapolis. (Jim Mone/AP Photo)
TORONTO -- The Ontario government says it is increasing its spending on bike lanes across the province.
Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca says the province is spending $93 million -- up from a previously announced $45 million -- this year to help 120 communities build bike lanes and biking infrastructure across Ontario.
The spending comes under a four-year municipal commuter plan designed to help Ontario reach its greenhouse gas reduction targets.
"We know that we need to do more to support those individuals right across the province of Ontario who want to choose cycling," Del Duca said. "Communities that range in size from the very smallest to the very largest will benefit."
According to the Ministry of Transportation, projects that improve or support commuter cycling -- including enhancements to existing cycling infrastructure like bike lanes -- are eligible for the funding. Communities which want to develop a new cycling plan -- and have a population of 15,000 or greater -- are also eligible for funding to create one.
Toronto will receive $25.6 million of the funding and will use it to the expand the city's Bike Share system, adding up to 300 new locations with 3,000 bikes.
The funding for the program is drawn from the proceeds of Ontario's cap-and-trade program.
The province estimates that about 1.5 million people in Ontario use their bikes at least once a week during the spring, summer and fall.
Del Duca said all 120 communities that applied for the money will receive some funding and it must be spent by 2020.