Smart Commute

Plan Your Trip

Collage of people walking, taking the bus and biking to trips around Hamilton

Smart Commute to work, to school, and around your neighbourhood

Smart Commute will be introducing a new trip planning and ride-matching platform soon. As we transition, the existing Smart Commute tool will be offline starting April 30, 2020. If you are currently registered on the tool, you will be notified via email with additional information. Our plan is to have the new tool up and running when you return to your usual commute.

Sign up for our newsletter as we are continuing to provide important information on staying safe during your commute, tips on teleworking and more. 

Plan your walking, biking or carpooling trip

  Plan your walking, cycling or carpool trip (coming soon)

 Plan your transit trip Icon

  Plan your transit trip

Icon for Hamilton Bike Share

  Plan your bike share trip

 Plan your car share trip

  Plan your car share trip

 Plan your taxi trip

  Plan your taxi trip

Cycling resources


Find end-of-trip bike facilities in Hamilton.

Find bicycle safety & education.

Find NEW 2020 cycling routes & maps.

View the Hamilton interactive cycling map.

View the Hamilton Bikeshare map to find hubs & bikes.

Carpool resources


The City has selected parking lots that have preferred parking spaces for carpool groups.

Find a carpool match using the Smart Commute Tool (coming soon)

 

Emergency Ride Home


If you are a Smart Commute workplace employee and you have an unforeseen emergency on any day you use a sustainable method to commute to work, you can request reimbursement of up to $75 for your emergency transportation costs. Ensure you retain all transportation receipt(s). For more information and reimbursement claims, contact your local Smart Commute Office.

Celebrate sustainable transportation


Celebrate with great community events including:

  • Bike Day/ Bike Month
  • Bike to School Week
  • Smart Commute Week
  • Wear Yellow Day

 

Benefits of Smart Commute

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.

Public transportation and fixed route transit services continue to be an efficient system of getting people to their destination, while contributing to both the economical and physical health of individuals.

Riding the transit provides the following benefits:

  • Healthier Living – Public transportation is linked to a healthier lifestyle with low mortality rate, a happier disposition, and more productivity. Transit users get more physical activity per day than driving commuters as a result of walking to and from transit stations.
  • Decreases Road Congestion and Pollution – Transit helps by moving people more efficiently, than a single occupancy vehicle and helps riders avoid the stress of commuting in highly congested areas. As a result, public transit produces significantly less air pollution per passenger.
  • Freedom and Mobility – The availability of public transit opens up personal mobility to everyone, giving each person the freedom to go virtually anywhere. It allows individuals that do not have accessible to vehicles the opportunity to travel freely.
  • Household Expenses Reduced – Public transit can save over $10,000 per year compared to driving commuters by avoiding gas, maintenance, parking, and other expenses.
  • Increased Productivity – Transit commutes are able to spend their time reading, working, studying, sleeping, or other activities that do not require their attention on watching the road. It can also reduce commute times.

HSR (Hamilton Street Railway) operates the bus and paratransit services in the City of Hamilton

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 travelled, 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.