Canadian National AT Fund open for applications

In February 2021, the Canadian federal government announced a new source of funding was on its way for active transportation (AT) projects across the country. Providing $400 million over five years, the first-ever National Active Transportation Fund aims to support a modal shift in how we travel within our communities with a goal of reducing the number of trips made by private automobile.

The new fund compliments Canada’s National Active Transportation Strategy which was launched in July 2021. The strategy establishes a vision “for Canadians of all ages, ethnicities, abilities, genders, and backgrounds to be able to safely and conveniently access active transportation in their communities, and to significantly increase the ‘modal share’ of active transportation: the proportion of Canadians who regularly make the choice to use active transportation.” It outlines a framework of six elements – Awareness, Coordination, Targets, Investment, Value, and Experience (A-C-T-I-V-E) – that are essential for advancing AT in Canada.

Addressing the “Investment” element of the A-C-T-I-V-E framework, the $400 million fund will be split between two streams with roughly $12 million (3% of the fund) allocated for Planning and Design Projects (Grant Program) and the remaining funds slated for Capital Projects (Contribution Program). Funding can cover up to 100% of eligible costs up to $50,000 for planning projects while the amount available for capital projects varies depending on the agency.

Eligible projects under the Planning and Design stream include:

  • Research, including case studies, data collection initiatives, mapping of walkability and bikeability, community audits/assessments;
  • Public and/or stakeholder engagement and outreach, education programs;
  • Policy development, including drafting objectives/actions for inclusion in community land use and/or transportation plans;
  • Feasibility studies, business cases, and detailed costing estimates relating to the design of a project or program;
  • Projects which support the implementation of Canada’s national active transportation strategy, such as events raising awareness and encouraging adoption of active transportation

Eligible recipients for funding include municipal, local, or regional governments; provincial or territorial governments; not-for-profit organizations; Indigenous Governing Bodies; and Indigenous development corporations, among others. The full list of eligible recipients, in addition to other detailed information can be found on the Active Transportation Fund webpage.

Applications for funding will be accepted through a combination of timed intakes, with set open and close dates, and rolling intakes, depending on the agency submitting an application. Infrastructure Canada is currently accepting applications for both funding streams until March 31, 2022. Detailed information is available on the Active Transportation Fund webpage including a general applicant guide and a step-by-step guide for planning projects.

As a consultancy striving to make the world less dependent on the car, Mobycon is excited by the recent developments in support from the federal level. Last Spring, upon the announcement of the AT strategy and fund, we asked our team members what they would like to see in the AT Strategy and what types of projects they would like to see prioritized. With these thoughts in mind, we are happy to offer our services to eligible agencies considering applying for funding under the Planning and Design stream. Whether deciding on an existing project idea to put forward this round or seeking to develop a new project for the next intake period, Mobycon is here to help you advance AT in your community.

Eric Post

I believe one of the most effective ways for us to reduce our impact on the environment is to transition to more environmentally sustainable forms of transportation. Building cities where walking and cycling are safe, easy, and enjoyable is a win for all community members and the planet.

Integrated Mobility Consultant