A motion to change Toronto’s latest cycling plan to include tax incentives for traditional and electric bicycles has passed. Layton is a cyclist himself and has been involved in much of the increase in cycling infrastructure in Toronto. The amendment seeks to “add financial incentives for the purchase of all bicycles, e-bikes and other carbon-free vehicles approved for use on the roads and cycling infrastructure of the City of Toronto.”
Toronto City Council will vote today to make University Avenue, parts of Bloor, Danforth and Bayview permanent parts of the cycle path network. A big thank you to all participants. @joe_cressy @ BeckyKatz96 @CycleToronto @TO_Cycling pic.twitter.com/66s4rNeVSD
– Mike Layton (@m_layton) December 15, 2021
The motion was part of a larger bill that included making some of the so-called “temporary” cycle paths, created at the start of the pandemic, permanent. Layton added to the tax incentive given that so many people ride or plan to ride more. The amount of the incentive has not yet been announced, but there are existing incentives in Europe. In Germany, for example, there is an incentive of $ 3,600 for the purchase of an e-cargo bike. In France it’s $ 1,700, and in Sweden and Norway you’re considering a $ 1,500 break.
Bikes are a much more environmentally friendly resource than cars, so it makes sense that a payment or tax could be both a reward for those who choose to ride instead of driving. In addition, with traffic levels returning to pre-pandemic levels, there is an urgent need to reduce automobile traffic in urban centers. Bicycles have been proven to take up much less space than cars in cities, and more people using their bikes as opposed to a car would reduce much of the traffic jam.
The average cost of owning a car is estimated at $ 13,000 per year. For example, according to the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA), a 2017 Honda Civic can cost over $ 8,000 to drive annually when driven year-round in Ontario.
In July 2020, the British Columbia provincial government announced new and improved incentives to encourage British Columbians to purchase e-bikes. British Columbia consumers will be eligible for a rebate of $ 1,050 on the purchase of a new electric bicycle, an increase of $ 200; however, the rebate is only available with the trade-in of a motor vehicle.
Given the bicycle boom, tax incentives for purchasing bicycles are expected to spread to many other Canadian cities.