HCF regularly supports organizations and initiatives that deal with poverty, health and the environment. But it’s not every day that a project comes along that addresses all three at once, while also helping to unlock a lot more funding.
SoBi Hamilton, the popular bike sharing program, was launched with great success in 2015, but limited resources also limited the number of locations it could serve. Now, a grant from HCF’s Losani Family Foundation Fund and the Environmental Endowment Fund is helping to expand SoBi’s reach into neighbourhoods where more low-income residents can access the service.
Peter Topalovic, Hamilton Bike Share & Smart Commute program manager with the City of Hamilton says HCF’s support to the pilot project, known as Everyone Rides, has also been the key to garnering a matching grant of $275,000 from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM).
“The community foundation was more than a partner in this initiative,” says Peter. “Not only did its contribution allow SoBi to access the full match from FCM, the Foundation team was also very supportive in bringing their knowledge to maximize community benefit. They really understood the initiative and the importance of having accessible transportation throughout the city.”
Through Everyone Rides, Hamilton will become a frontrunner in North America in bike share systems to serve low-income neighbourhoods. The program also includes supports such as cycling safety and skills training to overcome barriers to bike use experienced in other cities.
By encouraging more people to ride bikes, SoBi creates sustainable transportation from which the only energy burned is calories.
From Summer 2016 Legacy newsletter