Greater Toronto Area and Hamilton Announce Smart Commute – Canada’s Largest Traffic Reduction Initiative

Toronto – Canada’s largest-ever traffic reduction program, the Smart Commute Initiative, was announced today by Dr. Gordon Chong, Vice-Chairman of GO Transit.  The Initiative is a partnership of Greater Toronto Area municipalities and the City of Hamilton, with financial support from Transport Canada and the private sector.

“The Smart Commute Initiative is a first in the GTA,” said Dr. Chong, who is also the honorary Chair of Smart Commute’s community Advisory Committee.  “Never before have local governments from Durham to York to Hamilton gotten together to offer commuters even more choices for getting to work or school.”

According to Loy Cheah, Manager of Transportation Planning for the Region of York and Chair of The Smart Commute Initiative, it’s urgent that action be taken now on relieving the region’s congested roads and highways.  “Delays are only going to get more frequent as the GTA grows by millions of people over the next 20 years.  We’re already losing too much money and emitting too many greenhouse gas emissions as commuters and goods sit in traffic.”

But that’s where Smart Commute comes in.  Local ‘Smart Commutes’, such as those already operating in North Toronto, Vaughan and Markham, Richmond Hill, will offer services like carpool matching and an emergency ride home program.  They’ll also provide commuters with more reasons to take transit or cycle, and help employers to set up telework programs. Up to 10 Smart Commutes will be available right across the GTA and Hamilton by the end of 2006.

The Smart Commute Initiative is a $7.9 million dollar project partially funded by Transport Canada’s Urban Transportation Showcase Program, which is part of the Government of Canada’s Action Plan 2000 on Climate Change.

Participating municipalities in the Smart Commute Initiative include the Region of York, City of Toronto, Region of Durham, Region of Peel, City of Mississauga, City of Hamilton and Region of Halton.  Other municipalities, such as the Town of Markham, Town of Newmarket and City of Vaughan, will be assisting with the local Smart Commute in their areas.

The Smart Commute Association is the delivery agent for the Smart Commute Initiative (www.smartcommute.ca) and encourages the use of commuter options in the Greater Toronto Area and Hamilton. The Association works with a network of local Smart Commutes to provide direct services for employers and their employees. Currently there are Smart Commutes located at North Toronto,Vaughan and Markham,Richmond Hill. Services will soon be available in Mississauga, Durham, Newmarket-Aurora and other areas across the region.

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More information

Don Houston

Executive Director

416-338-5079

don@smartcommute.ca

Sarah Twomey

Outreach and Communications Coordinator

416-338-5088  (Cell on day of event: 416-688-1779)

sarah@smartcommute.ca

About Smart Commute
Commuter benefits program for the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area.

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