Smart Commute Helps Reduce Gridlock During Carpool Week

TORONTO, February 4, 2013 – Smart Commute, a program of Metrolinx celebrates its commitment to reducing gridlock during Carpool Week from February 4 to 10. During Carpool Week, three new designated parking areas for carpoolers will open at GO Transit stations in Oshawa, Rouge Hill and Mimico stations, for a total of 10 stations.

Carpool Week is an annual campaign to encourage single-occupancy vehicle commuters to drive with at least one other person to save time and money. The expansion of designated carpool parking areas at GO Transit stations will make it easier for commuters to share their ride to work in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area.

“Metrolinx is committed to promoting carpooling,” said Bruce McCuaig, President and CEO, Metrolinx. “The Big Move emphasizes coordinated and integrated transportation and transit to reduce commute times. And carpooling is a good way to get more cars off the road across our region.”

“Carpooling encourages commuters to leave their cars at home, reducing traffic congestion, keeping our air clean and the daily commute just a little bit easier,” said Laurel Broten, MPP for Etobicoke-Lakeshore. “I’m happy that this will help families in Etobicoke-Lakeshore get to work and back home to their families more quickly.”

“February 4-10 is carpool week,” said Tracy MacCharles, MPP for Pickering Scarborough East. “I encourage local commuters to take advantage of the new carpool parking area at Rouge Hill GO Station while travelling to work, school or appointments along the Lakeshore GO Lines.”

“Carpool with a friend or co-worker to your GO Transit station,” said Joe Dickson, MPP for Ajax-Pickering. “Our government’s unprecedented investments in public transit continue to make transit a better choice for commuters.”

The Big Move, a 25-year, $50-billion transit and transportation plan, has outlined investments that would make carpooling an easier option. Approximately 5 per cent of the budget of The Big Move’s Next Wave will go to funding improvements to regional highways. Much of this investment will focus on improving the system of high occupancy vehicle lanes on provincial highways throughout the region, which would encourage carpooling and transit use, and enable more efficient movement of people, goods and vehicles.

To receive a free carpool parking permit for a GO Transit station, apply online.

Smart Commute is a program of Metrolinx and the municipalities in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area that helps local employers and commuters explore different commute choices like carpooling, cycling and transit. One of its initiatives is Carpool Zone, a free, online ride-matching service that facilitates connections between people with similar routes and schedules. With close to 14,000 people currently registered in the system, Carpool Zone makes it easy to find a ride match and to track the environmental impact of commuting habits. To date, more than 255 employers with 608,000 employees have signed on to the program and are designated as Smart Commute workplaces. For more information about Carpool Week visit www.smartcommute.ca.

Metrolinx is working to provide residents and businesses in the Greater Toronto & Hamilton Area with a transportation system that is modern, efficient and integrated. Find out more about The Big Move, Metrolinx’s Regional Transportation Plan for the GTHA. Find out more about GO Transit,PRESTO, and Union Pearson Express, divisions of Metrolinx.

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

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