Recognizing Employers that Focus on Smart Commuting

York University recognized as Smart Commute Regional Employer of the Year

TORONTO, November 30, 2012 – Last night, at the sixth annual Smart Commute Awards event, several progressive workplaces were recognized by Metrolinx for their efforts to make commuting more enjoyable for their employees.

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Richard Francki (L), Assistant Vice President, Campus Services & Business Operations, receives the Smart Commute Regional Employer of the Year Award from Bruce McCuaig, President and CEO of Metrolinx.

For many people in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA), the commute to work or school costs a significant amount of time and money, while contributing to daily stress levels. Employers are recognizing that they have a role to play in managing this.

“Smart employers understand the negative effects that a long, frustrating commute can have on their workforce,” says Bruce McCuaig, President and CEO, Metrolinx, “and through the Smart Commute program, they are taking positive action to improve their employees’ commuting experiences.”

The awards handed out last night at St. Lawrence Hall in Toronto recognized 11 workplaces for their outstanding efforts in helping employees explore alternatives to driving to work alone by walking, cycling, taking transit, carpooling or teleworking. One exceptional leader – York University – was chosen as the Smart Commute Regional Employer of the Year.

“Partnering with Smart Commute North Toronto Vaughan (NTV) has helped York University make significant progress in reducing drive-alone trips to campus,” says Gary Brewer, Vice-President, Finance and Administration, York University. “Over this past year, we have worked together to further our commitment to sustainable transportation by installing 45 Priority Carpool Parking spaces and doubling the number of Zipcars on our Keele campus. Our collaboration with Smart Commute NTV continues to help us provide our growing community with alternative and more efficient ways of travelling to campus.”

Other winning employers include the City of Pickering, GENIVAR Inc., Enbridge Gas Distribution, Loblaw Companies Limited, McCormick Rankin – a member of MMM Group, McMaster University, Tim Hortons, Top Drawer Creative, Transat A.T. Inc. and York Region.

This year, a brand new award, the Parsons Brinkerhoff Employee Engagement Award, was presented to Mohawk College. This award recognizes a Smart Commute employer that has demonstrated exceptional leadership, innovation and success in getting employees to re-think commuting.

All award winners were selected by an independent panel of community members from various sectors across the GTHA. Nominations were evaluated based on the employer’s commitment to the program, leadership in their communities, innovation and measurable results.

Smart Commute is a program of Metrolinx and the municipalities in the GTHA whose goal is to ease gridlock, improve air quality and reduce greenhouse gas emissions while making commuting less expensive and more enjoyable, helping support the objectives in Metrolinx’s regional transportation plan, The Big Move. To date, more than 250 employers with 600,000 employees have signed on to the program and are designated as Smart Commute workplaces. For more information, visit smartcommute.ca.

Metrolinx is working to provide residents and businesses in the GTHA with a transportation system that is modern, efficient and integrated. Find out more about The Big Move, Metrolinx’s transportation plan for the GTHA.  Find out more about PRESTO, Air Rail Link and GO Transit, divisions of Metrolinx.

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For further information:

Media enquiries – Vanessa Thomas, (416) 874-5945

Backgrounder – Smart Commute Awards

Smart Commute Awards

The awards were introduced in 2008 to officially recognize employer members or partners who have put forth exceptional effort in implementing their Smart Commute programs. These awards recognize outstanding commitment, leadership, innovation and measurable results.

Sponsorship of the 2012 Smart Commute Awards was generously provided by Parsons Brinckerhoff Halsall Inc., BA Consulting Group Ltd. and VIA Rail.

Smart Commute Transportation Management Associations from across the GTHA nominated their top employers and 11 local Employers of the Year were selected:

Smart Commute Brampton-Caledon             Loblaw Companies Limited

Smart Commute Central York                       York Region

Smart Commute Durham                               City of Pickering

Smart Commute Halton                                 Tim Hortons

Smart Commute Hamilton                             McMaster University

Smart Commute Markham, Richmond Hill   GENIVAR Inc.

Smart Commute Mississauga                       McCormick Rankin, a member of MMM Group

Smart Commute Northeast Toronto               Enbridge Gas Distribution

Smart Commute North Toronto, Vaughan     York University

Smart Commute Pearson Airport Area          Transat A.T. Inc.

Smart Commute Toronto-Central                  Top Drawer Creative

The Regional Employer of the Year was selected from these winners to recognize the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area’s top Smart Commute employer. The 2012 winner is York University, a Smart Commute North Toronto, Vaughan employer.

In addition, a new award, the Parsons Brinckerhoff Employee Engagement Award was given to a Smart Commute workplace that has demonstrated exceptional leadership in helping employees develop strategies to explore more sustainable commuting options. The recipient of this award is Mohawk College, a Smart Commute Hamilton workplace.

For more details on the winning programs, visit smartcommute.ca/en/success-stories/awards.

Smart Commute Awards Review Panel

The Smart Commute Award winners were selected by an independent review panel comprised of community members from various sectors across the region. This year’s panel was led by Metrolinx Vice-President, Policy, Planning and Innovation, Leslie Woo, and consisted of representatives from the following:

  •  Ajax-Pickering Board of Trade
  • McMaster University
  • Toronto Centre for Active Transportation
  • Windfall Ecology Centre

 

 

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

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