Monday, May 12, 2008

Commuter Challenge

I posted a couple short notes about the Sustainable Transportation workshop I attended a little while ago (here and here). I still have to go through my notes and do a more detailed post on all the great ideas and information from the day but is hasn't taken long for city staff pick up on some of the simple ideas and put them into action here.

I just received this email from Robert Carroll who was at the workshop...

"Commuter Challenge is a national program that encourages Canadians to walk, cycle, take Grande Prairie Transit or car pool instead of driving alone to work.

The Challenge supports workplaces as they encourage their employees to leave their cars at home for their personal health, the health of their communities and the health of the environment. Individual Canadians can participate too.

The program is based on a friendly competition between workplaces and communities across Canada to see which has the highest percentage participation rates during the week.

By registering participation online, Canadians are able to see the results of their healthier commutes with respect to greenhouse gases reductions calculated by taking into account kilometers not traveled and leaving your car at home.

Employees of the City of Grande Prairie and Council  Members are encouraged to take up the Commuter Challenge for the week of June 1 – 7, which is also National Environment Week.

Promotional information will be available at all City facilities shortly and Supervisor's should promote the Challenge and may want to offer some incentives to encourage their employee's to take up the Challenge!

Finding other more sustainable and economical means of getting to and from work makes even more sense now with the ever rising price of fuel.

All those who participate in the Challenge will be eligible for some fantastic prizes. The more days you participate, the more spectacular the prize!
All information will be entered into the Commuter Challenge database to compete for National prizes.

Check out the website at"

I think the challenge is a great idea, why not try something a little different for a couple of days? There is a pretty clear relationship between employee fitness/health and productivity so encouraging walking or cycling to work should pay dividends for employers. Hopefully more GP companies decide to take up the challenge.

And, if your employer isn't into it there is nothing that says you can't do it on your own! After all you'll be the one who feels better from a little exercise (if you choose to walk or bike) and saves money on gas!

1 comment:

Leslie said...

Thanks for the articles on helping our communities to be more walkable. GP is a VERY walkable (and cyclable) community--nice and flat and with trails through the creek valley.

Always room for improvement, of course, but when you compare the terrain with a place like Peace River, with a massive river in the middle, steep hills, and a long, strung out community on two sides of the river, GP has considerable potential for encouraging people to walk or bike.

Despite our challenging geography, Peace River has some great walking/biking trails along the dike and up the West Hill. It's common to see people walking for recreation and also to get places.

Council has also supported a small (expensive) transit system for several years so people don't have to drive all the time.

When I was elected to Town Council in October and realized how many meetings I was going to be attending, I decided to make time to walk whenever I could, which I have done that faithfully, even during the cold winter and piles of snow.

It gives a person a very different view of the place he or she lives to walk or cycle rather than drive. And I figure I could spend 30 minutes on the elliptical or treadmill or I could just walk to and from a meeting (I'm lucky enough to live near downtown).


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