Local Employers Leading the Way: Smart Commute recognizes ‘Employers of the Year’ across the GTA and Hamilton.

Toronto, Canada – Smart Commute held its first annual ‘Employer of the Year’ awards last night at St. Lawrence Hall in Toronto.  Eight workplaces from Hamilton to Newmarket were recognized for their outstanding efforts to help employees get to work by walking, cycling, taking transit, carpooling and telework instead of driving.

Traffic congestion is a serious problem for both commuters and their employers,” said Toronto Mayor David Miller.  “Companies like Toronto-based Enbridge Gas Distribution and York University and others recognized by Smart Commute are leading the way to relieving congestion and improving our environment.”

Other winning employers include IBM Canada’s Markham location, the Hamilton Health Sciences family of hospitals, Hatch, an engineering consulting firm based in Mississauga, and the municipal government offices of Peel Region, York Region and the Town of Newmarket.

Exemplary companies were selected from local Smart Commutes in the GTA and Hamilton based on their commitment to the program, leadership shown in their communities, innovation in their initiatives and results achieved.

“On behalf of the Greater Toronto Transportation Authority (GTTA) and its board, I applaud these companies for the work they’re doing. Their efforts will go a long way towards making things easier for people by creating an integrated transportation system for the Greater Toronto Area and Hamilton,” said Rob MacIsaac, Chair of the GTTA.

More than 50 employers with 150,000 employees have signed on to the Smart Commute program including the City of Toronto, DuPont, ING Direct, Maple Lodge Farms and the Canadian Automobile Association.  Members of the public can also access services such as the Carpool Zone, an online ridematching service, at www.smartcommute.ca.

Smart Commute has helped commuters reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by more than 17,400 tonnes since 2004 – enough to fill the Rogers Centre almost six times.  Nearly 1.3 million trips by lone drivers were saved through Smart Commute, resulting in 10,000 fewer cars on local roads and highways.

Smart Commute is a partnership between the towns, cities and regions of the GTA and Hamilton.  The initiative was designed to be a showcase for Canada’s efforts to curb traffic congestion and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by encouraging the use of commuter options like transit and carpooling.

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

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For more information, please contact:

Ryan Lanyon
Project Director
Smart Commute Association
416-338-0498
ryan@smartcommute.ca

Backgrounder – Smart Commute Awards

Smart Commute Awards

The Awards were introduced this year to officially recognize employer members or partners who have put forth exceptional effort in implementing their Smart Commute programs.  The award will recognize outstanding commitment, leadership, innovation and results.

Smart Commutes from across the GTAH nominated their top employers and eight award recipients were selected:

  • Smart Commute Hamilton – Hamilton Health Sciences
  • Smart Commute Mississauga – Hatch
  • Smart Commute Brampton-Caledon – Peel Region
  • Smart Commute North Toronto, Vaughan – York University
  • Smart Commute Northeast Toronto – Enbridge Gas Distribution
  • Smart Commute 404-7 – IBM Canada
  • Smart Commute Central York – Town of Newmarket and York Region

For more information on the successes of the recipients, visit www.smartcommute.ca/awards.

Smart Commute

Smart Commute is a partnership between the cities and regions of the Greater Toronto Area and Hamilton (GTAH) to combat traffic congestion, improve air quality and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  Smart Commute works with over 50 large employers in the GTAH to implement transportation demand management programs and encourage commuters to carpool, take transit, telework, cycle or walk to work.

Smart Commute Results – May 2004 to March 2007

  • 75 million km of car travel eliminated and 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%.

Carpool Zone

  • Launched November 24, 2005
  • More than 10,000 users have joined the system
  • More than 900 carpools have formed
  • Reductions of 65-75 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions per month

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

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