Building Bike Culture Beyond Downtown

Building Bike Culture Beyond Downtown: A Guide to Suburban Community Bike Hubs sheds light on how Scarborough Cycles, an innovative project launched and led by The Centre for Active Transportation (TCAT) between 2015 and 2018, tapped into the potential for cycling in a suburban district of Toronto.

Over five years, this community bike hub project repaired over 2,200 bicycles, collaborated with over 50 community groups/organizations, and trained over 200 people in cycling skills – in a part of Toronto where there are few bike lanes and only one bike shop.

The report describes how to launch a community bike hub – welcoming spaces where people can learn more about cycling, meet other people who cycle, and go cycling together – to spark cycling adoption. Hubs offer programming such as do-it-yourself bicycle repair, bicycle loans, and guided rides to encourage cycling in an area where few trips are made by bicycle.

TCAT’s community bike hub approach is based on a targeted, four-step approach which other suburban communities can replicate. The TCAT team adapted proven social psychology strategies, such as those used for quitting smoking or reducing energy consumption, to encourage and sustain behaviour change for cycling.

The report lays out the four-step process for others to use: 1) find the neighbourhood, 2) identify local barriers, 3) remove barriers and start cycling, and 4) keep cycling.

Project Snapshot

How do we incubate cycling in a part of the city with very few people cycling, even fewer bike lanes, and only one bike shop? Read our Project Snapshot to learn how we have been addressing barriers and helping people start cycling over the last three years.

Scarborough Cycles Snapshot with four images of people cycling and the Scarborough Cycles logo in the middle

Costing of Bicycle Infrastructure and Programs in Canada

A joint report by The Centre for Active Transportation (TCAT) and McGill University, seeks to fill a gap in existing information on the costing of cycling infrastructure projects and cycling program interventions across Canada. The report describes the components and costs of 40 bicycle infrastructure measures and cycling programs that have been implemented in 16 communities across Canada.

A total of 29 bicycle infrastructure measures from 15 cities were grouped into five categories:

  1. on-street facilities
  2. intersection treatments
  3. traffic calming measures
  4. off-street facilities
  5. accessory and support features

A total of 11 cycling programs from six cities were grouped into four categories:

  1. training programs
  2. repair and maintenance
  3. events
  4. supports and programs

Each of the 29 bicycle infrastructure types was costed out specific to one municipality only, and as a result should be considered a general, not specific, cost estimate. The same applies to the 11 types of cycling programs as costs vary from region to region and are further dependent on a wide variety of local and jurisdictional factors and circumstances. In this light, this report can be used as a rough guide to costs based on bicycle infrastructure and cycling interventions that have been built and implemented, rather than a detailed technical or costing guide.

The report was released in September 2019 as a companion catalogue to Increasing Cycling in Canada: A Guide to What Works.

Read the report here: Costing of Bicycle Infrastructure and Programs in Canada.