Saturday, May 18, 2024

Saanich receives over $144K in federal funding for new e-bike pilot program

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Climate change is upon us and now the Canadian government is looking for ways to reduce the country’s contributions to the crisis. 

One way the feds are trying to make a dent in the trajectory climate change has the world on is reducing the number of cars on the road. They are achieving this by investing in better active transportation networks, especially in urban areas. 

On Tuesday, September 19th, the Canadian Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, Jonathan Wilkinson, announced that three BC municipalities will receive $223,440 through the Green Municipal Fund to provide money to projects that are actively upsetting climate change.

One of those three projects is an initiative created by the District of Saanich. 

Saanich received the lion’s share of this funding with $144,600 to go toward a pilot program that occurred between 2021 and 2022 trying to get people out of cars and onto e-bikes.

Specifically, over those years, the program gave income-based incentives to those who buy e-bikes. 

Over 380 residents were able to access a way to participate in active transportation for their health as well as the environment’s sake.

This initiative was launched by Saanich in collaboration with the University of British Columbia and the Community Social Planning Council.

To learn from this endeavour, a requirement of those who received money for an e-bike filled out a survey to find out more about what health and physical activity impacts come from e-bike use, cost savings as well as greenhouse gas emissions. 

The Regional District of Kitimat-Stikine, which includes much of northwestern BC also received funding for a project. 

They got $50,000 for a feasibility study surrounding the construction of a multi-use pathway in Thornhill. 

This new pathway would be reminiscent of the Galloping Goose and would offer pedestrians and cyclists a safer alternative to travelling through the dangerous and narrow road shoulder that runs along a highway 

The pathway would then link up with Thornhill’s neighbouring municipality Terrace.

Lastly, the City of Port Moody also received funds in the amount of $28,840 for an evaluation of using one off-road electric vehicle (EV) for the city’s parks operations.

The duties required of this EV would include parks maintenance, horticulture, urban forestry and trail management. 

By going forward with this initiative, Port Moody will analyze if they should scale up their EV usage for city operations. 

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Curtis Blandy
curtis@victoriabuzz.com

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