Frequently Asked Questions

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1. What is active transportation?

Active transportation refers to the movement of people or goods powered by human activity. Active transportation includes walking, cycling and the use of human-powered or hybrid mobility aids such as wheelchairs, scooters, e-bikes, rollerblades, snowshoes and cross-country skis, and more.

2. What is active transportation infrastructure?

Active transportation infrastructure refers to the physical structures and the built environment that support active transportation, such as pathways, bike lanes, multi-use trails and widened sidewalks. The most effective active transportation infrastructure provides a complete network that allows users to safely move through their communities and between destinations, from main streets to schools, parks, public transit hubs and residential neighborhoods.

3. Who is eligible to apply for the Active Transportation Fund?

Municipal governments; local and regional governments such as service districts; and Indigenous organizations are eligible to apply for the Active Transportation Fund.

Provinces, territories, and not-for-profit organizations are also eligible to apply in specific circumstances.

Multiple eligible applicants may submit an application, so long as a lead applicant is identified.

Ineligible applicants are individuals; private citizens; for-profit entities (with the exception of Indigenous for-profit entities); and federal entities, including federal Crown corporations.

Additional details on the specific applicant eligibility requirements for the Active Transportation Fund can be found in Section 3 of the Applicant Guide.

*Note: It should be noted that discussions are ongoing between the Government of Canada and the Government of Quebec regarding the implementation of this program in Quebec, in accordance with the Quebec legislative framework.

4. What types of projects are eligible for the Active Transportation Fund?

There are two streams of projects eligible for funding under the Active Transportation Fund:

A. Planning Projects

Planning projects involve the development or enhancement of formal active transportation strategic planning documents or stakeholder engagement.

Eligible planning projects include:

  • Research, including case studies, data collection initiatives, mapping of walkability and bikeability, community audits/assessments;
  • Public and/or stakeholder engagement and outreach, education programs;
  • Policy development, including drafting objectives/actions for inclusion in community land use and/or transportation plans;
  • Feasibility studies, business cases, and detailed costing estimates relating to the design of a project or program;
  • Projects which support the implementation of Canada's national active transportation strategy, such as events raising awareness and encouraging the adoption of active transportation.

B. Capital Projects

Capital projects involve new infrastructure construction, enhancement of existing infrastructure, and/or improvements to design and safety features that encourage increased active transportation.

Eligible capital projects include:

  • Building or enhancing infrastructure for active transportation, such as multi-use paths, sidewalks, footbridges, separated bicycle lanes, and connections to other roadways (this could include nature trails and other infrastructure which could support recreation, so long as this infrastructure can be demonstrated to reflect evaluation criteria);
  • Enhancing active transportation infrastructure, including design considerations in which there may be no net gain in kilometres of infrastructure, but quality improvements that support greater usage;
  • Building or enhancing design features and facilities that promote active transportation, such as storage facilities, lighting, greenery, shade, and benches;
  • Building or enhancing safety features which promote active transportation, such as crosswalks, medians, speed bumps, and wayfinding signage.

Ineligible projects include:

  • Proposals to build or enhance infrastructure for which the primary users would-be passenger and commercial vehicles;
  • The purchase of non-fixed, removable assets, such as bikes for bike share systems (nonremovable infrastructure in such systems may be eligible).

More details and examples of eligible planning and capital projects for the Active Transportation Fund can be found in Section 2 of the Applicant Guide.

5. Are projects that have already started eligible for funding?

If construction is underway, the project is ineligible. However, applicants may apply for funding for future/subsequent phases of an ongoing project. It is important to note the following:

  • Costs incurred prior to the letter of approval, as well as any and all expenditures related to agreements and contracts signed prior to the date of this letter, will be ineligible for reimbursement.
  • Expenditures associated with Climate Lens assessments and Indigenous consultation are eligible before project funding approval, but can only be reimbursed if and when project funding is approved and a contribution agreement is in place.

6. Is the acquisition of land eligible under the Active Transportation Fund?

Expenditures related to purchasing land, buildings and associated real estate and other fees are ineligible under the Active Transportation Fund.

7. How do I apply to the Active Transportation Fund?

Between January 27, 2022 and March 31, 2022, applications will be accepted through the Applicant Portal. Applicants can consult the Step-by-Step Guides for capital and planning projects for clear, simple instructions for submitting an application.

If you would like to receive updates on the Active Transportation Fund, including on the availability of new guidance, please send us an email (ATF-FTA@infc.gc.ca) to subscribe to our Mailing List.

8. Will all submitted applications be evaluated?

All applications received during the application intake period (January 27, 2022 and March 31, 2022) will be evaluated. Applications from eligible Indigenous recipients will be accepted on an ongoing basis (including applications submitted after March 31, 2022) and will be subject to continuous assessment.

9. When will the projects under the Active Transportation Fund have to be completed?

The Active Transportation Fund is a five-year program starting in 2021-2022. All projects must be completed by March 31, 2026.

The planning project application will require applicants to submit the forecasted start date and the forecasted end date.

The capital project application will require applicants to submit the forecasted site preparation start date (if applicable), the forecasted (substantial) construction start date, and the forecasted (substantial) construction end date.

10. Is there a limit to the number of applications an applicant can submit?

There is no limit on the number of applications that may be submitted by an eligible applicant. An applicant may submit multiple planning or capital projects at the same time. There can only be one point of contact for all applications from an organization. Each application must describe a stand-alone project that will achieve clear results and create benefits on its own.

If an applicant is submitting multiple projects, they may include a rationale for prioritizing the projects. Infrastructure Canada will evaluate each project using a merit-based approach to ensure that projects support the Active Transportation Fund's objectives, and does not make any commitment to consider the applicant's prioritization in its determination.

11. How will projects be selected?

The Active Transportation Fund is a competitive program, and projects will be assessed against a list of eligibility and merit criteria. Eligibility and merit criteria are available in Section 4.3 of the Applicant Guide.

Project selection will be merit-based; final project selection will be undertaken with a view to balancing funding support by taking into consideration such factors as regional distribution, the type of project, and equitable access.

12. Are there any particular funding allocations?

There are no particular funding allocations for regions or provinces/territories under the Active Transportation Fund. However, regional distribution will be one of the factors taken into consideration in Infrastructure Canada's funding support decisions.

The Active Transportation Fund includes a minimum of 10% of total funds for Indigenous recipients.

*Note: It should be noted that discussions are ongoing between the Government of Canada and the Government of Quebec regarding the implementation of this program in Quebec, in accordance with the Quebec legislative framework.

13. Is a municipal attestation or endorsement from Council required for a municipal applicant?

Municipal applicants do not require a municipal Council endorsement, resolution or other form of attestation at the time of application.

Should the application be approved, such an attestation may be required as a condition of the funding agreement.

14. What must a letter of support for a not-for-profit organization from an eligible recipient contain?

For the purpose of the application, the not-for-profit organization would be required to submit a letter from an eligible recipient on behalf of which it is applying that explicitly states its support for the proposed project by the not-for-profit organization and grants the not-for-profit organization the necessary rights to implement the project, should it be approved.

15. What are the maximum amounts payable for planning and capital projects?

Under the Active Transportation Fund, the maximum amount payable for a planning project is $50,000.

Under the Active Transportation Fund, the maximum amount payable for a capital project is $50 million.

Please note that the Active Transportation Fund has a funding capacity of $400 million for five (5) years, and the funds will be used to support small, medium, and large projects from coast to coast to coast. Value for money will be a final project selection consideration.

16. Is it possible to use other sources of funds for the project?

Yes, it is possible to use any other sources of funds for the project. The only requirement under the program is that the maximum federal contributions and total Canadian Government stacking limits are respected.

Maximum federal contributions and total Canadian Government stacking limits are available in Section 6.1 of the Applicant Guide.

17. When can applicants begin incurring costs?

Following project approval, the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities will send an approval letter to successful applicants. Of note:

  • Costs incurred prior to the date of this letter, as well as any and all expenditures related to agreements and contracts signed prior to the date of this letter, are ineligible for reimbursement.
  • Expenditures associated with Climate Lens assessments and Indigenous consultation are eligible before project funding approval, but can only be reimbursed if and when project funding is approved and a contribution agreement is in place.

18. When will successful applicants receive funding from the Active Transportation Fund?

Successful applicants will be notified by letter of the project approval. When a project is approved, officials from Infrastructure Canada will contact successful recipients to begin the development of a grant agreement (planning project) or contribution agreement (capital project). Costs can only be disbursed if and when: project funding is approved, the agreement is signed, and conditions outlined in the agreement are met. The signed agreement will indicate the conditions under which payments will be made.

19. What will happen to unspent funds?

Agreements will specify that any ineligible expenditures or any unspent funds remaining at the end of the funding agreement will be returned to the Government of Canada. Minimum holdback provisions will be based on risk assessment.

20. When will final payments be made?

Final payments will follow receipt of the final accounting of eligible expenditures, and the total amount of the funding will not exceed eligible expenditures incurred pursuant to the terms of the agreement, including in respect to stacking and contribution limits.

21. What is the role of the Government of Canada after a project is approved?

The Government will have no involvement in the implementation of the project or its operation. It is neither a decision-maker nor an administrator of the project.

The Government will ensure recipients adhere to reporting requirements outlined in the agreements. Recipients of funding for capital projects may be required to provide progress reports to Infrastructure Canada in accordance with the contribution agreement. Recipients of planning grants may be required to submit a narrative report on their activities upon the completion of their planning strategy.

All contribution agreements will provide the Government of Canada the right to conduct, at any time, a full audit of the project as deemed necessary. All audits required as per the audit strategy will be carried out in accordance with Canadian Generally Accepted Auditing Standards.