Local Firm a Smart Leader in Commuting

Hatch recognized by Metrolinx as 'Smart Commute Employer of the Year'

TORONTO, Nov. 18 /CNW/ - Smart Commute held its third annual 'Employer of the Year' awards last night in the Historic Distillery District in Toronto. Ten workplaces from Hamilton to Newmarket to Ajax were recognized for their outstanding efforts to help employees get to work by walking, cycling, taking transit, carpooling and telework instead of driving in their areas. One exceptional leader - Hatch - was chosen as the 'Regional Employer of the Year'.

With programs to help employees carpool, take transit, cycle and telework, Hatch has lead the way in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and providing healthy transportation choices while working to improve employee job satisfaction and recruitment. Since joining Smart Commute in 2007, more than one third of employees have switched to green modes of transportation, saving them over $750,000.

"We've been able to reduce the number of parking spots needed for our company because of Smart Commute. The program has helped save us hundreds of thousands of dollars, and winning the Smart Commute Regional Employer of the Year is the icing on the cake." - Hatch Sustainable Development Committee.

In addition to financial benefits, Hatch employees have prevented more than 350 tonnes of greenhouse gas emission, largely through an aggressive carpool program. One in eight employees no longer drives alone to work.

"Congratulations to Hatch and all of our Smart Commute winners," said Rob MacIsaac, Chair of Metrolinx. "These employers demonstrate just how much we can all achieve by working together to tackle congestion, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve our transportation system."

Other local Smart Commute Employers of the Year include Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Veridian, University Health Network, Power Stream, AMD, Southlake Regional Health Centre, Maple Lodge Farms, City of Burlington, and McMaster University.

Winners were selected by an independent panel of community members from various sectors across the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area. Nominations were evaluated on the employer's commitment to the program, leadership in their communities, innovation and results.

Smart Commute is a joint venture between Metrolinx and area municipalities. More than 120 employers with 300,000 employees have signed on to the Smart Commute program. Members of the public can also access services such as the Carpool Zone online ridematching service at www.smartcommute.ca.

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

Metrolinx is a Crown agency of the Province of Ontario. For more information visit our website www.metrolinx.com.

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Backgrounder

    
                             Smart Commute Awards
    

The Awards were introduced in 2007 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 GTHA nominated their top employers and ten local 'Employers of the Year' were selected:

    
    -   Smart Commute Durham - Veridian
    -   Smart Commute Toronto-Central - University Health Network
    -   Smart Commute Northeast Toronto - Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
    -   Smart Commute North Toronto, Vaughan - Power Stream
    -   Smart Commute 404-7 - AMD
    -   Smart Commute Central York - Southlake Regional Health Centre
    -   Smart Commute Mississauga - Hatch
    -   Smart Commute Brampton-Caledon - Maple Lodge Farms
    -   Smart Commute Halton - City of Burlington
    -   Smart Commute Hamilton - McMaster University
    

A regional 'Employer of the Year' was selected from the ten local winners to recognize the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area's top Smart Commute employer. The 2009 winner is Hatch from Smart Commute Mississauga.

In addition, a Smart Commute Champion award was given to an individual who has shown exceptional dedication to the program. The 2009 recipient of the award was Nancy Grieveson from Exhibition Place in Toronto.

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

Smart Commute Awards Review Panel

---------------------------------

The Smart Commute Award winners were selected by an independent review panel comprised of community members from various sectors across the region. This year's panel was chaired by the Director of Oakville Transit, Barry Cole and consisted of representatives from the following:

    
    -   Durham Sustain Ability
    -   Toronto Coalition for Active Transportation (TCAT)
    -   Direct Energy
    -   Hamilton Chamber of Commerce
    

Metrolinx is a Crown agency of the Province of Ontario. For more information, visit www.metrolinx.com

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SOURCE Metrolinx

For further information: For further information: Media Contacts: Ryan Lanyon, Team Lead, Smart Commute at Metrolinx, (416) 874-5933 or cell (416) 587-4375, Ryan.Lanyon@metrolinx.com, www.metrolinx.com; Jacquie Menezes, Senior Associate, Public Affairs and Media, (416) 874-5923 or cell (647) 289-4523, Jacquie.Menezes@metrolinx.com

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