Effective Congestion Relief



    Smart Commute Initiative eliminates 10,000 cars off GTA and Hamilton
    roads.

    TORONTO, Sept. 10 /CNW/ - Ten thousand cars per day. That's how many
vehicles are no longer on Greater Toronto Area and Hamilton roads thanks to
Smart Commute. The Initiative has worked with local employers and commuters
over the last three years to help more people walk, cycle, take transit,
telework and carpool, and the results have shown some amazing successes.
    "Not only have we helped relieve congestion, but we've taken action on
climate change, too," says Ryan Lanyon, project director for the Smart Commute
Association. "Commuters who decided to smart commute with us have prevented
enough greenhouse gas emissions to fill the Rogers Centre almost six times."
    The Initiative has also been active in cleaning the air in the GTA and
Hamilton, by reducing air pollution by 100,000 kg - or the same as if
residents smoked more than three billion cigarettes. And there are even more
benefits to public health and the local economy.
    "I congratulate the Smart Commute Association on yet another great
achievement," said Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities,
Lawrence Cannon. "Smart Commute's work supports Canada's New Government's
overall environmental agenda to reduce air pollution and greenhouse gases and
protect the health of Canadians and the environment. Our government is pleased
to support commuters' efforts."
    More than 50 employers with 150,000 employees have signed on to the Smart
Commute program including IBM, DuPont, ING Direct, York University, Maple
Lodge Farms, Enbridge Gas Distribution, Hatch 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 is a partnership between the towns, cities and regions of
the GTA and Hamilton with the support of Transport Canada's Urban
Transportation Showcase Program. 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.
    Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion and member of the Greater Toronto
Transportation Authority (GTTA) Board of Directors for Peel Region says she is
looking forward to Smart Commute aligning with the GTTA. "Cities need to look
at all options for fighting congestion and working with Smart Commute is an
effective way for the GTTA to relieve the pressure on our roads and highways,"
said McCallion.

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


    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 9,000 users have joined the system
    -   More than 800 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




For further information:

For further information: Ryan Lanyon, Project Director, Smart Commute
Association, (416) 338-0498, ryan@smartcommute.ca

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SMART COMMUTE

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