Encouraging commuters to cycle to work
May 27, 2013 – Metrolinx celebrates the start of Bike Month with Bike to Work Day, today. Bicycling to work or school can reduce commuting costs, improve health, and save commuting time. Running for twenty years, the event grows more popular each year. More than 5,000 people participated in 2012 and it is anticipated that number will be surpassed this year.
Smart Commute, a program of Metrolinx, has partnered with Cycle Toronto to encourage people across the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area to bike to work, school, and to transit as part of their commute on Bike to Work Day and throughout Bike Month – May 27 to June 30. A variety of events, including safe cycling workshops, guided tours, group rides, art shows and film screenings have been organized across the GTHA today and throughout June, all aimed at raising awareness of cycling as a healthy and fun way to get around. Local event schedules, including today’s group rides, can be found at BikeMonth2013.ca.
“Metrolinx is making it easier for people to incorporate cycling into all, or part, of their commute to work or school,” said Leslie Woo, Vice President, Policy, Planning and Innovation at Metrolinx. “Through our Smart Commute program, we are helping GTHA employers to implement bike-supportive policies and practices at their workplaces. Active transportation will be an important element addressed in the Next Wave of The Big Move, Metrolinx’s Regional Transportation Plan.”
Metrolinx and Cycle Toronto acknowledge the contributions of the City of Hamilton, City of Mississauga, City of Toronto, Region of Peel, York Region and McLeish Orlando in supporting Bike to Work Day and Bike Month. A prize draw for those participating in the online pledge to ride during Bike Month is being supported by VIA Rail and Welcome Cyclists and runs until June 18 at BikeMonth2013.ca.
“Bike Month is a community-driven program that encourages and celebrates cycling,” said Jared Kolb, Executive Director of Cycle Toronto. “Forty per cent of all trips taken across the GTHA are less than five km which is very ‘bikeable’. Cycling is an important way to reduce motor vehicle congestion. By collaborating with Smart Commute and other supporters this year, we have been able to expand the scope of the program and reach more people who are looking to get out of their cars and get outside.”
Metrolinx is working to provide residents and businesses in the GTHA with a transportation system that is modern, efficient and integrated. Find out more about The Big Move, Metrolinx’s Regional Transportation Plan for the GTHA at www.bigmove.ca.
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Smart Commute is a program of Metrolinx and the municipalities in the GTHA whose goal is to ease gridlock, improve air quality and reduce greenhouse gas emissions while making commuting less expensive and more enjoyable, helping support the objectives in Metrolinx’s Regional Transportation Plan, The Big Move. To date, more than 305 employers with 670,000 employees have signed on to the program and are designated as Smart Commute workplaces. For more information, visit smartcommute.ca.
Cycle Toronto is a diverse member-supported organization that advocates for a healthy, safe, cycling-friendly city for all. Cycle Toronto pursues evidence-based transportation solutions that make cycling a viable option for all Torontonians and is passionate about increasing the number of people biking safely, confidently and knowledgeably. To date, Cycle Toronto has 2,400 members. For more information, visit cycleto.ca.
jared.kolb [at] cycleto.ca