Government of Canada teams up with cities to help Canadians travel cleaner and greener



    OTTAWA, Feb. 14 /CNW Telbec/ - The Government of Canada will invest
$4 million over three years in ecoMOBILITY initiatives. This funding is part
of a $10-million program that was announced last year to help Canadians
protect their health and environment by giving them more sustainable
transportation choices. The announcement was made today by the Honourable
Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities in a
speech to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities in Ottawa and by the
Honourable John Baird, Minister of the Environment.
    "The ecoMOBILITY program will reduce emissions from the urban passenger
transportation sector by helping municipalities attract residents to less
polluting forms of transportation, such as public transit and carpooling,"
said Minister Cannon. "Today I am pleased to announce that Transport Canada
has launched the request for proposals for transportation demand management
projects under the ecoMOBILITY program. A total of $4 million is available to
municipalities and regional transportation authorities for initiatives that
can help residents increase their use of sustainable transportation options."
    The ecoMOBILITY program will help cities develop policies, programs and
services that make it more convenient for people to reduce personal car use
and choose more environmentally friendly options, such as public transit or
carpooling. This program complements ongoing efforts to address air emissions
and congestion from all transportation sectors.
    "Today's announcement demonstrates our government's commitment to
reducing greenhouse gases and air pollution," said Minister Baird. "Canadians
have said they want to do their part in fighting climate change. Programs such
as ecoMOBILITY can help them take real action at home by choosing more
environmentally friendly options to get them to work or school."
    This program is part of the Government of Canada's ecoTRANSPORT Strategy,
which is aimed at improving the health of Canadians and the environment by
reducing the environmental impacts of transportation; securing Canada's future
prosperity and competitiveness by making critical transportation
infrastructure sustainable both economically and environmentally; and
promoting an efficient transportation system that supports choice and the high
quality of life that Canadians expect.

    A backgrounder on the ecoMOBILITY program is attached.

    Government of Canada

    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                 Backgrounder
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

        ecoMOBILITY - HELPING CANADIANS MAKE THE RIGHT TRANSPORTATION
                   CHOICES FOR A CLEAN, HEALTHY ENVIRONMENT
                   ----------------------------------------

    Every day, Canadians travel to work, school and other destinations in
their automobiles. While this travel is necessary for most, it also increases
the greenhouse gases and air pollution that affect our environment and the
health of all Canadians.
    As part of its environmental agenda, the Government of Canada is helping
reduce emissions by working with cities to assist Canadians in making cleaner
transportation choices part of their daily lives.
    The Government of Canada's $10-million ecoMOBILITY program seeks to cut
urban passenger transportation emissions by helping Canadians choose public
transit or other sustainable transportation options like walking, cycling and
carpooling. By working with municipalities across Canada, this initiative will
help develop programs, services and products that improve transportation
choices and quality of life for Canadians in their communities.
    While respecting provincial and territorial jurisdictions and planning
priorities, the government is committed to finding ways to work together more
effectively to improve transportation and mobility for Canadians in urban
areas.
    A total of $4 million in funding is available to municipalities and
regional transportation authorities as part of the contribution program.
Examples of the measures that the ecoMOBILITY program will encourage include:

    - policies such as land use guidelines that complement increased use of
      sustainable transportation options (e.g. development approval policies
      that mandate access to transit services);
    - programs to raise awareness and motivate changes in personal travel
      choices (e.g. workplace-based commuter options programs that engage
      staff and market new incentives to reduce single occupancy vehicle
      trips to and from work);
    - services that offer individuals a tangible benefit or disbenefit
      related to the use of particular travel modes (e.g. guaranteed ride
      home programs for carpool members or reduced parking rates for carpool
      vehicles); and
    - products that make sustainable transportation more convenient
      (e.g. enhanced transit information services or online ride matching
      systems for workplaces).

    The ecoMOBILITY program complements ongoing efforts to address air
emissions and congestion from all transportation sectors. It is an important
element of the Government of Canada's ecoTRANSPORT Strategy, which is aimed at
improving the health of Canadians and the environment by reducing the
environmental impacts of transportation; securing Canada's future prosperity
and competitiveness by making critical transportation infrastructure
sustainable both economically and environmentally; and promoting an efficient
transportation system that supports choice and the high quality of life that
Canadians expect.

    For more information about the Government of Canada's environmental agenda
and the ecoMOBILITY program, visit www.tc.gc.ca/ecomobility.

                                                               February 2008
    




For further information:

For further information: Karine White, Office of the Minister of
Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, Ottawa, (613) 991-0700; Eric
Richer, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of the Environment, Gatineau,
(819) 997-1441; Media Relations, Transport Canada, Ottawa, (613) 993-0055;
Environment Canada Media Relations, (819) 934-8008, 1-888-908-8008; This news
release may be made available in alternative formats for persons with visual
disabilities.


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