Workplaces Walking to a World Record: Smart Commute partners with Green Communities Canada to get Greater Toronto Area and Hamilton workplaces walking.

Toronto, Canada – Employees across the Greater Toronto Area and Hamilton are taking a break to bust the World Record for the most people walking simultaneously.  The number to beat? 100,915. That’s 100,915 people walking one kilometre at the same time – a record set by Western Australia last year.

Smart Commute is helping by encouraging its members and partners in the Greater Toronto Area and Hamilton to get out at 12:30 pm today to walk just one kilometre and join more than 1,400 other events happening in Ontario and across the country.

“Walking is a cost-effective way to get to work and run errands.  It’s also great for your health,” says Mark Singh, Coordinator of the City of Toronto’s Smart Commute program and Chair of the Smart Commute Technical Committee, “and that’s why Smart Commute has partnered with Green Communities Canada to promote the World Record Walk.”

Commuters often don’t realize how easy it can be to walk a kilometre or two for at least part of their trip to work.  Smart Commute has found that 4% of commuters in the GTA and Hamilton primarily walk to work and 9% have walked to work before.  Statistics Canada has reported that people who walk or cycle to work are more likely to enjoy their commute than those who drive.  The average person can walk a kilometre about every 10 minutes, and can burn off 35 calories – about the same number of calories that is found in half an apple.  A 20 minute commute to work and back can burn off the same number of calories as a bowl of cereal.

One thousand employees from Smart Commute’s partner workplaces are expected to help break the record.  Employees at Enbridge Gas Distribution, Peel Region, York Region, City of Hamilton, City of Toronto, CH2M HILL, the Newmarket Chamber of Commerce and others are planning on walking one-kilometre around their workplaces at 12:30 pm today.  All of the events will be coordinated so they meet Guinness World Record requirements.  More information on the World Record Walk can be found at www.smartcommute.ca/events and www.worldrecordwalk.ca.

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 per weekday from GTA and Hamilton roads since 2004.  More than 50 employers with 150,000 employees have signed on to the Smart Commute program.

Choose Your Way. For more information about Smart Commute visit www.smartcommute.ca.

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For more information, please contact:
Mark Singh
Smart Commute Toronto
msingh@toronto.ca
(416) 574-2424

Backgrounder – Smart Commute Initiative

Smart Commute Initiative

The Smart Commute Initiative operated from May 2004 to March 2007 as a partnership of the towns, cities and regions of the Greater Toronto Area and Hamilton, with partial funding from Transport Canada and private sector partners.

The Initiative established six local Smart Commutes in Markham and Richmond Hill (404-7), Mississauga, Brampton-Caledon, Northeast Toronto, Halton as well as Newmarket and Aurora (Central York).  These were based on the successful model of Smart Commute North Toronto, Vaughan, which has served the area around York University since 2001.  Future Smart Commutes are planned for Durham, Hamilton and downtown Toronto.

Results of the Initiative

From May 2004 to March 2007:

  • 75 million km of car travel eliminated
  • 1.3 million trips by lone drivers eliminated
  • 10,000 cars removed from the roads per weekday (2006-07)
  • 17,400 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions prevented

(equivalent volume to almost six times the Rogers Centre)

  • 100,000 kg of air pollution prevented

(equivalent NOx emissions to smoking more than three billion cigarettes)

Commuter Recognition

Smart Commute brand name is recognized by 10% of all commuters who reside within the GTA and Hamilton.  Carpool Zone ridematching service is recognized by 17%.

Financial Support

  • May 2004 to March 2007 total of $6.7 million:
    • Municipalities = $3.5 million
    • Transport Canada = $2.2 million
    • Private sector = $1 million

Carpool Zone

  • Launched November 24, 2005
  • More than 7,000 users have joined the system
  • More than 700 carpools have formed
  • Reductions of 65-75 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions per month

Smart Commute and the Greater Toronto Transportation Authority (GTTA)

At the August 24, 2007 meeting of the GTTA Board of Directors the following motion was adopted:  “Staff be directed to proceed expeditiously with an integration of the Smart Commute initiative within GTTA’s operations in accordance with report 07-B44”.

Moved by Hazel McCallion, Mayor, City of Mississauga

Seconded by Bill Fisch, Chair, Regional Municipality of York

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

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