Workplaces Walking to a World Record



    Smart Commute partners with Green Communities Canada to get Greater
    Toronto Area and Hamilton workplaces walking

    TORONTO, Oct. 3 /CNW/ - Employees across the Greater Toronto Area and
Hamilton are taking a break to bust the World Record for the most people
walking simultaneously. The number to beat? 100,915. That's 100,915 people
walking one kilometre at the same time - a record set by Western Australia
last year.
    Smart Commute is helping by encouraging its members and partners in the
Greater Toronto Area and Hamilton to get out at 12:30 pm today to walk just
one kilometre and join more than 1,400 other events happening in Ontario and
across the country.
    "Walking is a cost-effective way to get to work and run errands. It's
also great for your health," says Mark Singh, Coordinator of the City of
Toronto's Smart Commute program and Chair of the Smart Commute Technical
Committee, "and that's why Smart Commute has partnered with Green Communities
Canada to promote the World Record Walk."
    Commuters often don't realize how easy it can be to walk a kilometre or
two for at least part of their trip to work. Smart Commute has found that 4%
of commuters in the GTA and Hamilton primarily walk to work and 9% have walked
to work before. Statistics Canada has reported that people who walk or cycle
to work are more likely to enjoy their commute than those who drive. The
average person can walk a kilometre about every 10 minutes, and can burn off
35 calories - about the same number of calories that is found in half an
apple. A 20 minute commute to work and back can burn off the same number of
calories as a bowl of cereal.
    One thousand employees from Smart Commute's partner workplaces are
expected to help break the record. Employees at Enbridge Gas Distribution,
Peel Region, York Region, City of Hamilton, City of Toronto, CH2M HILL, the
Newmarket Chamber of Commerce and others are planning on walking one-kilometre
around their workplaces at 12:30 pm today. All of the events will be
coordinated so they meet Guinness World Record requirements. More information
on the World Record Walk can be found at www.smartcommute.ca/events and
www.worldrecordwalk.ca.

    Smart Commute is a partnership of the cities and regions of the Greater
Toronto Area and Hamilton to tackle traffic congestion, climate change and air
pollution through smarter commuting options. Smart Commute has helped to
remove almost 10,000 cars per weekday from GTA and Hamilton roads since 2004.
More than 50 employers with 150,000 employees have signed on to the Smart
Commute program.

    
       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 7,000 users have joined the system
      -   More than 700 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: Mark Singh, Smart Commute Toronto,
msingh@toronto.ca, (416) 574-2424

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