Assiniboine employees Cathy Unruh, Judy Boville, Tracy Miller and Linda Mulvey already knew each other through work, but it wasn’t until they started carpooling that the wheels of friendship really started turning.
The four are part of a growing number of ACU employees who carpool. Our 2011 Employee Commuting Survey results indicate that 18% of all commuting trips were by carpool. This equates to just over 600,000 kilometres of travel and a 6% increase compared to 2010.
For these four, it started out as a convenient way to get to work when their departments moved to Assiniboine’s 200 Main Street location. Since then, it’s turned into much more. The foursome soon discovered that one of the best things about being in a carpool is the social element. They share their joys and struggles on the way to work after picking up coffee, though the way home is sometimes a bit quieter. “We’re all mothers, and two of us are grandmothers,” says Judy, an accounting administrator. “So there’s always a lot to talk about!”
There are challenges, of course, especially since the four alternate driving and share only one parking pass. “If the driver is sick in the morning and needs to stay home or if someone has to leave early there’s a bit of a run-around,” Judy admits. “But we haven’t had to deal with that too often.”
Assiniboine encourages all employees to consider alternative means of transportation other than driving alone. Judy, Cathy, Linda and Tracy created their pool through word-of-mouth, but others have had success after signing up at carpool.ca.
Assiniboine also offers employees reduced-fare bus passes to encourage use of public transit, and most of our branches have convenient bike racks for employees and members alike. Our employees are also active and enthusiastic participants in the annual Commuter Challenge.
All this reflects Assinboine’s commitment to reducing our carbon footprint. The fact that it also fosters friendship and fun is a welcome bonus.
Excerpt from June 2012 asterisk print version.