Did you know that walking is one of the easiest and most enjoyable forms of exercise around? It’s also a relaxing and cost-efficient way to get to the office, the school, or the grocery store.
All you need is some comfortable shoes and clothing and off you go. You may be surprised to know that walking helps you to keep fit, reduces high blood pressure, strengthens your bones and regulates your appetite.
Next to the health benefits, walking also aids in reducing air pollution. So, as you can see, choosing to walk makes a difference to our environment, your health and your pocket book!
Many of our daily trips are well within cycling distance (0-5km). Trips taken by bike save you the cost of transit, gas, parking, have zero impact on air quality, and burn calories with every pedal forward.
If you already ride your bike then you already know the many benefits – but if you’re new to this idea make the transition easier and fun by planning ahead:
- Buy a new bike or dust off that bike you’ve had for years and get a tune up.
- Make a check-list of what you’ll need to make your bike the new vehicle of choice: a bell, reflective tape, lights for the front and the back of your bike, water bottle cage, a bike rack or basket, tire repair kit, a rear-view mirror, a bike radio, streamers, a travel mug holder…the accessory options are endless!
- Plan your trip using the City of Hamilton’s Bike Route Maps: Urban Map | Rural Map
- Do a test ride to your pre-mapped destination on the weekend.
- Take it easy. Start slow. Begin by riding one day per week to build up your cardio and confidence.
- Feeling rusty on the rules of the road? Brush up or take a refresher course
- Look out for bike clubs and events in your community including the Smart Commute Bike to work day
- If you live too far away to bike the entire distance to work or school, mix and match with transit.
Carsharing companies offer membership-based programs that provide people with access to vehicles on a self-serve, pay-per-use basis. Carsharing instead of vehicle ownership has numerous benefits including reduced vehicle kilometers traveled, and ownership, fuel and maintenance savings.
Carpooling not only reduces traffic congestion and vehicle emissions, but regular carpooling will help you save money.
In 2009, CarpoolZone.ca started helping commuters save over $425,000 and prevent 200 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions every month. This tool has now been redeveloped as a result of high user demand and ongoing commitment to provide quality resources to our Smart Commute partners.
A typical carpool group can save over $100 each even if they just carpool twice a week! Carpooling also sparks new and lasting friendships and alleviates the stress of driving alone every day. It is estimated that the average annual cost to operate a personal vehicle is somewhere between $7,000 and $10,000. Carpooling allows you to share that expense, leaving you with cash for other things. How much is your seat worth?
Carpooling can also reduce your total commuting time, opening access to those high-speed HOV lanes on the 403! Imagine whizzing by traffic congestion in a designated carpool lane or parking in a spot close to the entrance of your workplace that has been designated for carpools only. Saving time, money and the environment!
How can I start carpooling? It’s simple! Register on the Smart Commute tool and create your profile. Customize your profile by adding your home address and destination and decide how flexible you are in distance, driving times, and other preferences. Make sure you add yourself to your workplace network. Check out this Webinar we hosted on how to use the Smart Commute Carpool function.
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