Avoiding the post Labour Day commuter crunch

    BCAA recommends drivers consider options for a healthier,
    greener and less stressful commute

    BURNABY, BC, Sept. 2 /CNW/ - "Hiho, hiho, it's off to work (and school)
we go..." Drivers enjoying lighter, free-flowing traffic during summer should
prepare for it to come to an abrupt end this week, as summer gives way to the
return to school and work. But don't dismay, says BCAA. There are ways to
reduce time lost to congestion, and help the environment too.
    According to BC Stats, over three-quarters of all work trips (79%) in
B.C. are being made in cars, and the average home-to-work commute is 6.5
kilometres. Drivers in the Vancouver region, says Statistics Canada, face an
average 67 minute round-trip commute to and from work. And, according to
BCAA's latest opinion polling, members rate congestion as their third most
pressing driving concern, after traffic safety and costs.
    There are many ways to reduce road-related woes, even if you have no
choice but to drive to work. And if you can leave your car at home, there are
more choices - and reasons - than ever to commute in a healthy and
environmentally responsible way.
    For those who have no choice but to drive, BCAA recommends the following:

    -   Know before you go. Pay close attention to traffic reports before you
        leave your home or office. You might be able to choose a less
        congested route based on the road reports.

    -   Identify alternative routes. The shortest distance between two points
        may not always be a straight line. Try mapping out an alternative
        route. Even if it looks longer on paper, you may find it less

    -   Vary your commuting schedule. Talk to your employer about adopting
        more flexible work hours. That is, starting and finishing your work
        day either before or after peak rush hours.

    -   Work from home. Today's technology means you can "virtually" work
        from anywhere. If you're able to spend just one or two days a week
        working from home, you'll save time, money and reduce emissions, too.

    For drivers who don't necessarily need their cars everyday, or for those
who would like to reduce their carbon footprint, BCAA recommends the

    -   Share a ride. Carpooling reduces traffic and pollution while saving
        you money. It also provides a less stressful commute and gives you
        and your carload free reign of the HOV lanes. Check out Jack Bell
        Ride-Share at www.online.ride-share.com to find your perfect carpool

    -   Use transit. With public transit expanding in greater Vancouver and
        Victoria, and many other parts of the province, taking transit can
        provide some much-needed relief from being behind the wheel - with
        little or no loss of convenience. Your company may even be eligible
        to offer discounted transit passes to employees through the
        convenience of payroll deduction. If you don't have transit close by,
        consider using one of the many Park and Ride locations where you can
        park your car and take transit the rest of the way.

    -   Ride a bike. Bike routes are on the increase in many B.C.
        communities, making commuting by bike safer and less stressful. In
        addition, health experts recommend at least 30 minutes of exercise
        each day - often difficult to fit in to busy work and family
        schedules. So, ride your bike to work; you'll save money and get in
        your recommended daily exercise. Detailed maps outlining bike routes
        are available from TransLink, and on many municipal websites.

    -   Enjoy the fresh air and walk. It may not take as long as you think to
        walk to and from work. Most people easily walk 1/4 mile in five
        minutes. Speed it up with running or rollerblading, if that's more
        your style.

    About BCAA

    BCAA is dedicated to meeting the needs of its members and customers
throughout B.C. and the Yukon, connecting them with a team of membership,
automotive, travel and insurance professionals. With over 793,000 members and
$130 million in revenues, BCAA is the largest organization of its kind in B.C.
and the fourth largest CAA-affiliated association in Canada. For the past
three years, BCAA was named one the 50 Best Employers in Canada by
international HR consultants Hewitt Associates and the Globe & Mail's Report
on Business magazine. To learn more about BCAA's products, services and member
advocacy, visit www.bcaa.com. For more information on the BCAA Traffic Safety
Foundation visit www.tsf-bcaa.com.

For further information:

For further information: Trace Acres, BCAA Director, Corporate
Communications and Government Relations, Tel: (604) 268-5029, Cell: (604)
788-3753, Email: trace.acres@bcaa.com

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British Columbia Automobile Association

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