METROLINX WELCOMES SMART COMMUTE: Award-winning Commuting Program to Join Regional Transportation Authority

TORONTO – The Smart Commute program, known for its online carpooling website and other commuter services, will join Metrolinx on January 1, 2008.

“Smart Commute is a natural fit,” said Rob MacIsaac, Chair of Metrolinx.  “Working with local employers to improve commuter options like carpooling and transit is just one of the ways that Metrolinx and Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) municipalities will help make our region’s transportation system greener and more sustainable.”

Smart Commute, which works with companies to help make it easier for employees to get to work, runs commuter services like the Carpool Zone.  Local Smart Commute offices operate in each of Hamilton, Halton, Mississauga, Brampton-Caledon, Northeast Toronto, North Toronto and Vaughan, Markham and Richmond Hill (404-7), Newmarket and Aurora (Central York), and Durham.

“The Government of Canada is pleased to have funded the successful start-up of Smart Commute,” said the Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities. “Smart Commute keeps commuter vehicles off roadways, helps in the reduction of air pollution and greenhouse gases, and protects the health of Canadians and the environment. I congratulate Metrolinx for partnering with local municipalities to continue the program and integrate it with the broader transportation system.”  Today’s announcement was made by the federal Minister at the Toronto Board of Trade breakfast meeting.

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 every day.  Smart Commute 404-7 was recently honoured with the 2007 Sustainable Urban Transportation Award from the Transportation Association of Canada.

More than 50 employers with 150,000 employees have signed on to the Smart Commute program including IBM Canada, DuPont Canada, ING Direct Canada, Enbridge Gas Distribution, Hamilton Health Sciences and the Canadian Automobile Association.  Members of the public can also access services like the Carpool Zone at http://www.smartcommute.ca as well as through the new Metrolinx web portal at http://www.metrolinx.com.

Metrolinx was created by the Government of Ontario to provide seamless, coordinated transportation links throughout the metropolitan region encompassing all of the City of Toronto, the four surrounding regional municipalities (Durham, Halton, Peel and York), and the City of Hamilton.  Metrolinx is an agency of the Government of Ontario, operating within the legislative framework of the Greater Toronto Transportation Authority Act, 2006 and the provincial Growth Plan.

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For further information contact:
Fran Agnew, Executive Assistant to the Metrolinx Chair, 416-874-5902
Jacquie Menezes, Senior Associate of Public Affairs and Media, 416-874-5923

Disponible en français

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

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