About the Awards
The Smart Commute Awards were introduced in 2007 to officially recognize employer members and partners who have put forth exceptional effort in implementing their Smart Commute programs. These awards acknowledge outstanding commitment, leadership, innovation and results in active and sustainable travel.
From among the nominations submitted, an independent Awards Review Panel selected an Employer of the Year for each of the six regions within the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area, and from those finalists, a Smart Commute Regional Employer of the Year Award was announced.
In addition, the Smart Commute Rising Star Award recognizes a workplace that achieved outstanding success in their first year in the program. And finally, the Smart Commute Champion Award celebrates the ‘above and beyond’ accomplishments of an individual or group whose contribution has been integral to the success of a Smart Commute program anywhere in the region.
New this year we introduced the Bike to School Week Awards. These awards acknowledged the outstanding work done to promote active and sustainable school travel across the region for the Bike to School Week campaign. Each region was recognized for their accomplishment. The Bike to School Week campaign is just one of the larger school travel planning pieces each region supports to encourage active and sustainable travel.
The awards were given out on November 23, 2017 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Scroll down to learn more about the 2017 Halton Employer of The Year.
2017 Employer of the Year – Halton, WSP Group
WSP Group (formerly MMM) joined Smart Commute in 2008. In 2016, in advance of moving its offices from Mississauga to Oakville, WSP Group reached out to Smart Commute Halton for support in leveraging the relocation to create a change in employee travel behaviour. The new office was chosen due to its proximity to Oakville GO Station, making it easier for employees to commute sustainably.
Prior to the move, info sessions were held to provide employees information about their future commute options. A survey was also undertaken to create 155 customized commute plans for employees, with 34 employees pledging
to try one of their recommended sustainable commute options.
WSP Group also worked with the new location’s developer and Oakville Transit to create a new bus route (#121), which provides a 5-minute connection between the new office and Oakville GO Station. Upon the move, ridership on the route grew to an average of 316 riders per month. The new location also has prominent carpool parking spaces, electric vehicle charging stations, and bicycle parking.
A post-move survey showed that the proportion of staff carpooling increased to 27%, compared to the 15% who intended to carpool pre-move. On the other hand, drive-alone trips have dropped to 62% post-move, compared to the 76% who originally planned to drive alone to the new location.