Goodyear Carpool Study Reveals Ontarians Still Go It Alone: Carpool Week Launched to Remedy Traffic Trauma

TORONTO, ON – Despite congested highways, high gas prices and widespread concern for the environment, just 17 per cent of Ontarians carpool, according to a new survey by Goodyear Canada and Smart Commute. However, the study also reveals that almost four in ten (39 per cent) of those aged 18-24 take a team approach to commuting, suggesting the province’s future workforce is already going green.

The survey results are being released to kick-off Carpool Week (September 17-21, 2007), a joint initiative of Goodyear and Smart Commute to encourage commuters to share the ride to work or school in an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“In the last three years alone, carpooling has removed the equivalent of three billion cigarettes worth of air pollution in the GTA,” said Ryan Lanyon, Project Director, Smart Commute. “Smart Commute and Goodyear are urging all commuters to carpool safely today so we can all breathe easier tomorrow.”

Ensuring the safety of carpool vehicles is the other key thrust of Carpool Week.  One of the primary findings of the study is that among those who carpool, an overwhelming majority — 81 per cent — consider the level of roadworthiness of the vehicle used for the journey to be an issue of concern.

“The only thing keeping your carpool on the road are four small patches of rubber, so you owe it to your passengers to get there on high quality, well maintained tires,” said Ian McIntosh, General Manager, Goodyear Canada.  “If you’re a carpooler, a quick inspection of your tires should be as routine as the morning coffee run.”

Throughout Carpool Week, Goodyear Canada is dispatching safety teams to Smart Commute employer parking lots to provide free tire inspections and laser tread depth analysis to carpool vehicles.

According to Goodyear, tires should always be properly inflated, regularly rotated, inspected and aligned annually.  Vehicles in cold climates should be equipped with winter tires, which can reduce stopping distance by up to 25 per cent, or two to three car-lengths, on snow and ice.  For more information on tire safety, visit: www.goodyear.ca/tireschool

Other key findings of the poll:

Barriers

  • The top barrier to carpooling is different work schedules, mentioned by one quarter (24 per cent) of Ontarians.
  • The inability to find a carpool partner was the second major barrier, mentioned by 14 per cent.
  • Two in ten (18 per cent) respondents said they would be more likely to carpool if there were a were a matching service available that paired them with other drivers (a service currently offered by Smart Commute at www.carpoolzone.ca)

Who’s Driving?

  • Half (49 per cent) of carpoolers say they generally prefer to rotate the role between driver and passenger.
  • Three in ten (30 per cent) prefer to sit back and relax while someone else does the driving.

The need for speed

  • Three quarters (73 per cent) of female carpoolers say they would ask the driver to slow down if he or she were traveling 20 km/hr over the speed limit. Just 58 per cent of men would do the same.
  • On the other hand, male carpoolers are twice as likely as female carpoolers (32 per cent versus 16 per cent) to tell the driver to speed up.

For more information on Carpool Week activities and safe carpool tips, visit carpoolzone.ca

About Smart Commute

Smart Commute is a partnership of the cities and regions of the Greater Toronto Area and Hamilton to tackle traffic congestion, climate change and air pollution through smarter commuting options.  Smart Commute has helped to remove almost 10,000 cars from GTA and Hamilton roads since 2004.

About Goodyear Canada

Goodyear Canada Inc. is a leading manufacturer of tires for automotive and commercial/industrial markets.  The company has operations and offices in Ontario, Quebec and Alberta, in addition to a national network of committed independent retailers.  Goodyear Canada is a wholly owned subsidiary of The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company of Akron, Ohio.

The Goodyear/Smart Commute Carpool Poll was conducted from September 6th to 10th, 2007 among a sample of 651 Ontarians, and has a margin of error +/-3.8 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

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For more information:
Adam Moffat or Jill Anzarut
Environics Communications
416-969-2763 or 416-969-2708

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

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