Smart Commute Week – by the numbers!

It takes Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) residents an average of 82 minutes a day to commute from home to work. Considering that 70 per cent of commuters in Toronto, for instance, travel to work by car, it’s no wonder that we are plagued by traffic congestion. During Smart Commute Week GTHA residents were urged to mix it up and try something new when travelling to work or school, showing that our small individual actions can collectively amount to huge improvements for everyone.

Smart Commute Week ImageA ‘smart’ commute – whether it’s carpooling, taking public transit, walking, cycling or telecommuting – can mean less time spent waiting in traffic, more opportunities to relax or enjoy nature, less money spent on fuel and car maintenance and much more. In fact, a recent scientific study showed a strong link between people’s commuting practices and their mental health. Significant associations were observed between overall psychological wellbeing and the use of active travel modes and public transport when compared to travelling by car.

This year’s campaign was focused on the launch of Smart Commute’s dynamic new online tool. The tool is aimed at steering people away from drive-alone trips by helping them explore other options. Users can easily compare distance, travel time, cost, calories burned and even CO2 emissions generated by each travel option. Users can also match their trips with others to find carpool buddies. Here’s how Smart Commute Week measured up:

  • 64 promotional events (with a total of 3,390 participants) were held at Smart Commute workplaces all across the GTHA. These ranged from the informative (step-by-step demos of how to find a carpool buddy) to the practical (one-on-one route planning) to the just plain fun (Nordic pole walking sessions and eco-driver workshops).
  • 914 participants logged their trips. Many earned cool badges like “First non-SOV trip” or “10th bicycle trip.” In total, over the two-week period, 9,152 trips were logged!
  • Smart commuters who logged their trips collectively saved 2,032 kg of CO2 emissions from entering the atmosphere.

Thank you to all participants. We look forward to seeing you next year (September 21-27) for Smart Commute Week 2015!