Government’s new grant program, Connect2, helps connect people to communities in healthier, more sustainable ways.
The program provides funding to communities to help create short sustainable transportation connections between community hubs, like multi-use paths for walking and biking, and dedicated bicycle lanes.
Energy Minister Michel Samson launched the program today, May 26, in Sydney.
“Connect2 is based on a vision that all trips under two kilometres to key community destinations in rural and urban areas can be made using active or sustainable transportation, like walking, biking or public transit,” said Mr. Samson. “This program will support projects that allow residents to more easily move between community hubs without starting their cars.”
Connect2 is accepting applications from communities, municipalities and organizations working on innovative solutions to sustainable transportation issues. The deadline to apply is June 30.
In 2014, Cape Breton Regional Municipality began building the Grand Lake Multi-use Trail, which connects residents, educational institutions and businesses in the Sydney and Glace Bay areas. The trail, along Grand Lake Road, provides safer and more accessible travel for pedestrians and cyclists. It was funded by the municipality, with support from the federal and provincial governments.
“This was an ambitious, but important, initiative in our community, connecting residential areas to the shopping mall and other local amenities, and allowing more people to get outside and bike or walk between destinations,” said George MacDonald, deputy mayor, Cape Breton Regional Municipality.
“Enhancing our active transportation links is an important part of reaching the municipality’s environmental and healthy-living goals. And we’ve received excellent feedback from residents.”
Government will spend $600,000 this year on Connect2. Applicants will be eligible for up to 50 per cent of costs, to a maximum of $150,000, for eligible sustainable transportation projects, such as multi-use trails, or active and sustainable transportation design, planning and feasibility studies.
Distances greater than two kilometres will be considered in rural areas as long as the project connects significant community hubs.
Projects that focus on public education and engagement, such as marketing, maps and online resources, will be eligible for up to 50 per cent of costs, to a maximum $30,000.
For more information, including how to apply, visit http://www.novascotia.ca/sustainabletransportation .