Active and Healthy Transportation
Walking is one of the best and easiest ways to improve your overall fitness. If you set a steady pace, you’ll get a good cardiovascular workout and improve the tone of your muscles. If you haven’t done a lot of walking in a while, do some warm-up stretches before you start. Wear comfortable shoes and socks. Walking continues to be the most popular physical activity in Canada, with 82% of adults aged 18 and older reporting participation in this activity during the previous 12 months (Physical Activity Monitor 2000, Canadian Fitness and Lifestyle Research Institute).
Cycling is easy to do, and is the most efficient zero-emission vehicle. If you have not cycled to work before, ask an experienced cyclist to cycle with you. It can be more fun and safer. Leave early and take a bottle of water. The average person can bike 18 km/hour.
One bus replaces an average of 45 cars, drastically reducing air pollution and easing congestion on roads. Sit back, relax, and let someone else do the driving. Read the paper or a novel, catch up on paper work, chat with friends, or take a nap! Remember: public transit is the safest mode of urban transportation in Canada (Canadian Urban Transit Association 2001).
A carpool can be any driver plus one or more persons of legal driving age in the vehicle. By driving with a friend or neighbour who normally drives alone, you’ll reduce your expenses – and cut your greenhouse gas emissions in half! Carpooling reduces the number of cars on the road, so there’s less traffic congestion and air pollution. For help finding a carpool buddy, see the Links section of the Web site for various ride-matching companies. Other ideas include:
- Put up a map of your area in a coffee or lunch room.
- Ask people to write their name and work number (or extension number) on a Post-It note. Affix the note to the map with a push pin, to the area in which they live.
- See which employees live close to each other, and encourage them to set up a carpool.
- Determine who will drive, how the fuel costs will be split, and what time the morning and afternoon pick-ups will be.
With the advancement of communication technologies, teleworking is quickly becoming one of the most popular ways of working. Check with your manager to learn more about the teleworking opportunities available to you. If you work from home, the distance you did not travel to a local office counts as kilometres in the Commuter Challenge.
The concept of car sharing provides individuals with a sustainable transportation alternative to driving a personal vehicle. As a result, less personal vehicles are on the road, and multiple trips are made with the same car sharing vehicle daily so the vehicle is not being underutilized like a private vehicle. Over the past 10 years in Canada, car sharing membership has grown by 30.3%, reducing the need for members to buy a private vehicle. Car share households on average drive fewer kilometers than do non‐car share households
Running efficiently combines exercise and commuting. When commuting, ensure you’re not carrying a heavy load, use a small, lightly packed backpack that has both a chest and waist strap. Commuting by running is an activity that can be done without really thinking about it. It’s as easy as putting on running shoes and going out the door.
Remember to wear a helmet, knee and elbow pads for protection, and follow the rules of the road. If you’ve never in-line skated on city roads before, go out for a few test runs first. Remember to wear bright/ reflective clothes so that drivers can see you!