Local Employers Leading the Way



    Smart Commute recognizes 'Employers of the Year' across the GTA and
    Hamilton.

    TORONTO, Nov. 23 /CNW/ - Smart Commute held its first annual 'Employer of
the Year' awards last night at St. Lawrence Hall in Toronto. Eight workplaces
from Hamilton to Newmarket were recognized for their outstanding efforts to
help employees get to work by walking, cycling, taking transit, carpooling and
telework instead of driving.
    Traffic congestion is a serious problem for both commuters and their
employers," said Toronto Mayor David Miller. "Companies like Toronto-based
Enbridge Gas Distribution and York University and others recognized by
Smart Commute are leading the way to relieving congestion and improving our
environment."
    Other winning employers include IBM Canada's Markham location, the
Hamilton Health Sciences family of hospitals, Hatch, an engineering consulting
firm based in Mississauga, and the municipal government offices of
Peel Region, York Region and the Town of Newmarket.
    Exemplary companies were selected from local Smart Commutes in the GTA
and Hamilton based on their commitment to the program, leadership shown in
their communities, innovation in their initiatives and results achieved.
    "On behalf of the Greater Toronto Transportation Authority (GTTA) and its
board, I applaud these companies for the work they're doing. Their efforts
will go a long way towards making things easier for people by creating an
integrated transportation system for the Greater Toronto Area and Hamilton,"
said Rob MacIsaac, Chair of the GTTA.
    More than 50 employers with 150,000 employees have signed on to the
Smart Commute program including the City of Toronto, DuPont, ING Direct,
Maple Lodge Farms 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 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.

    Smart Commute is a partnership between the towns, cities and regions of
the GTA and Hamilton. 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.
    Choose Your Way. For more information about Smart Commute visit
www.smartcommute.ca.


    
                     Backgrounder - Smart Commute Awards
    

    Smart Commute Awards
    --------------------
    The Awards were introduced this year to officially recognize employer
members or partners who have put forth exceptional effort in implementing
their Smart Commute programs. The award will recognize outstanding commitment,
leadership, innovation and results.
    Smart Commutes from across the GTAH nominated their top employers and
eight award recipients were selected:

    
    -   Smart Commute Hamilton - Hamilton Health Sciences
    -   Smart Commute Mississauga - Hatch
    -   Smart Commute Brampton-Caledon - Peel Region
    -   Smart Commute North Toronto, Vaughan - York University
    -   Smart Commute Northeast Toronto - Enbridge Gas Distribution
    -   Smart Commute 404-7 - IBM Canada
    -   Smart Commute Central York - Town of Newmarket and York Region
    

    For more information on the successes of the recipients, visit
www.smartcommute.ca/awards.

    Smart Commute
    -------------
    Smart Commute is a partnership between the cities and regions of the
Greater Toronto Area and Hamilton (GTAH) to combat traffic congestion, improve
air quality and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Smart Commute works with over
50 large employers in the GTAH to implement transportation demand management
programs and encourage commuters to carpool, take transit, telework, cycle or
walk to work.

    
    Smart Commute Results - May 2004 to March 2007
    ----------------------------------------------
    -   75 million km of car travel eliminated and 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%.

    Carpool Zone
    ------------
    -   Launched November 24, 2005
    -   More than 10,000 users have joined the system
    -   More than 900 carpools have formed
    -   Reductions of 65-75 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions per month
    





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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