Active transportation refers to any form of human-powered transportation – walking, cycling, using a wheelchair, in-line skating or skateboarding. There are many ways to engage in active transportation, whether it is walking to the bus stop, or cycling to school/work.
Active transportation includes many active modes and methods of travel such as: walking/jogging/running;
- in-line skating;
- non-mechanized wheel chairing; and
There are numerous benefits from active transportation:
Health – Active transportation provides an opportunity to be physically active on a regular basis.
Social – Active transportation is accessible to Canadians and increases social interactions.
Transportation – Active transportation reduces road congestion.
Environmental – Active transportation is environmentally-friendly and can contribute to reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.
Economic – Active transportation saves money on gas and parking.
Here are some ideas that may help you to adopt more active modes of transportation:
- Think twice about using your car for every trip. Could you walk or use your bike instead?
- Dust off your bicycle and cycle to work when the weather permits.
- Trade in your dress shoes for running shoes, strap on a backpack and walk all, or part of, the way to work/school.
- Instead of driving your kids to the park, why not walk or make it a family outing on your bikes?
- If you are considering moving, think about the transportation options available to you in the new locations you are considering. How far will the distance be to those places you regularly need to reach? Could you walk to do most of your small errands? How far away is the nearest school for your child? Is this new neighbourhood "pedestrian friendly"?
Communities that endorse active transportation:
- have dedicated bicycle lanes and routes;
- advocate for sharing the road with cyclists;
- undertake specific measures to ensure the safe integration of pedestrians, cyclists and other active users among motorized vehicle traffic;
- regularly maintain and upgrade pedestrian and cycling facilities;
- provide storage for bicycles throughout the community;
- have an integrated network of pedestrian and cycling paths that are designed for efficient transportation as well as recreation;
- favour urban design that reduces the distances that people have to travel to get to work, retail areas, schools and recreational/leisure pursuits;
- encourage the retail and service sectors to support customers who use active modes of transportation;
- plan streetscapes to be visually-pleasing and inviting to pedestrians;
- have a network of greenspaces throughout the urban and suburban areas;
- make access to public transit easily integrated with pedestrian and cycling facilities;
- encourage driver education about sharing the road with others; and
- encourage feedback from citizens, pedestrian and cycling advocacy groups.