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New $132K investment to research active, affordable Tri-Cities transit systems

Is current transportation infrastructure in Coquitlam and Port Moody as sustainable as it can be? Ottawa's latest grant is set to determine what more can be done.
A total of $132,400 is being invested by Ottawa to help Coquitlam and Port Moody study potentially more active, affordable and cleaner transportation options to reduce pollution in each community.

A trio of research projects is about to get underway in hopes of finding "faster, cleaner and more affordable ways" of getting around the Tri-Cities.

This week, the federal government provided a combined boost of $132,400 to Coquitlam and Port Moody to kickstart the studies, potentially leading to more walking and biking pathways across the communities.

The funds are set to allow both municipalities to evaluate the current condition of their public transit systems and prioritize where improvements are needed to reduce pollution and create more sustainable alternatives to driving.

"The grant will allow us to assess and prioritize improvements to our mobility corridors, leading to improved assets that can be used by pedestrians and cyclists city-wide," said Coquitlam Mayor Richard Stewart.

The investment was announced on Tuesday (Aug. 22) in a joint statement with Jennifer O'Connell, federal parliamentary secretary to the minister of intergovernmental affairs, infrastructure and communities, as well as Coquitlam–Port Coquitlam MP Ron McKinnon.

According to a release sent to the Tri-City News, Coquitlam's research is looking to identify with aging or substandard infrastructure and determine which upgrades are immediately needed.

In Port Moody, the city says it has a goal of decreasing emissions to zero by 2030.

It's set to conduct two separate studies: researching its current network to ultimately encourage a "rapid adoption" of active transportation options, and to determine the appropriate active transportation facilities to construct at Ioco Road and Ungless Way.

"I am glad to see federal support for these Port Moody initiatives," added Mayor Rob Vagramov in the same statement.

"Our community is thankful to the Government of Canada and our [Port Moody–Coquitlam] MP Bonita Zarrillo's support in Ottawa."

The money is being distributed through the Active Transportation Fund by way of the feds' National Active Transportation Strategy (NATS).

Each community was able to apply for up to $50,000 for their respective capital projects.

O'Connell says NATS is Canada's first-ever nation-wide strategic approach to promotion active transportation, which she adds can provide shortened commute times, job creation, healthy lifestyles and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.