The province of British Columbia wants to increase the number of people using active transportation and has now taken a big step to encourage cycling. Minister of Transportation Clare Trevena unveiled the Move, Commute, Connect strategy at the B.C. Active Transportation Summit on Monday in New Westminister. As first reported by the CBC, part of the plan includes giving a $850 rebate to people who want to buy e-bikes and ditch their cars.
The province wants to make cycling and walking safer and easier for its residents encouraging them to choose active modes of transportation that are better for the environment and unclog increasingly busy roadways. “We all have a role to play in protecting our environment and for more and more people that means walking or cycling to get where they’re going,” said Trevena.
The plan includes millions of dollars for bike lane projects across B.C. with the province vowing that future highways and bridge projects will take into account active transportation.
Currently, only 2.5 per cent of trips across the province are taken using bicycles. The province wants to double the percentage of trips taken using active transportation by 2030. Incentives in the plan are designed to encourage people of all ages and abilities to choose alternative modes of transportation.
Ebikes are booming in popularity providing pedal assist so you can go farther faster with less effort. Despite their appeal, e-bikes can be expensive but to make them more affordable, the province is offering drivers who get rid of their vehicles with a $850 rebate to go towards purchasing an ebike.
The province also plans to review the Motor Vehicle Act to include electric bikes, scooters and skateboards. The new program will be implemented as part of the BikeBC program which has been a B.C. Ministry of Transportation initiative aimed at making the province more friendly to people on bikes.