The Commuter Challenge: Millions of Green Kilometers and Fifteen Years Long

The Commuter Challenge: Millions of Green Kilometers and Fifteen Years LongIt’s an event that gets better and bigger every year. And once again, Assiniboine Credit Union is proud to sponsor and participate in the Commuter Challenge, being held from June 1 to 7.

2014 marks a significant milestone for the Commuter Challenge as it celebrates 15 years of encouraging commuters and workplaces from across Manitoba to consider alternatives to driving alone to work.

What Drives the Commuter Challenge?

In a word, “Competition”!

The Commuter Challenge is a fun and friendly national competition that encourages individuals, workplaces, cities and provinces to compete for green commuting supremacy. And year over year Winnipeg and Manitoba have been very successful in the Commuter Challenge.

Nan Colledge and Dennis CunninghamAssiniboine Credit Union has also experienced its share of Commuter Challenge success, winning Gold Awards in 2012 and 2013 and being recognized as a Commuter Friendly Workplace in 2012.

In 2013 almost 7,000 people at over 245 workplaces across the province participated in the Commuter Challenge. Manitobans travelled over 725,000 ‘green’ kilometres, saving over $66,000 in fuel costs, avoiding 120 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions and burning the same amount of calories found in 32,800 Snickers® bars!

“This is a really exciting year for the Commuter Challenge,” explained Amanda Kinden, Green Action Centre’s Commuter Challenge coordinator. “It’s our 15th year and we’d love to see 15,000 people participate. That would be an incredible achievement for the province.”

It’s our 15th year and we’d love to see 15,000 people participate. That would be an incredible achievement for the province.

At ACU, if we want to hold on to our Gold Award for a third year in a row, we’re hoping to have 30% or more of our employees participate in the Commuter Challenge. Participating employees are eligible to win a number of prizes when they register and track their green commuting information.

The Green and Active Commuting Difference

It’s no secret that how we get to and from work impacts our health, wallets and the environment.

Bike rackGreen commuting can be defined pretty much any commuting method that does not involve driving alone. Carpooling, transit, running, walking, cycling, rollerblading, canoeing, kayaking – they’re all green and active ways to get to work.

The Commuter Challenge offers some extra motivation for commuters to get out of their cars and try something different when it comes to getting to work. Cycling, running, walking, carpooling, transit, canoeing, roller-blading; you name it and someone has tried it as a commuting option over the last 15 years.

Having trouble finding time for physical activity? Biking, running or walking to work allows commuters the opportunity to fit fitness into their otherwise busy days.

Dennis Cunningham, CTV News clip May 29, 2014Concerned about the ever increasing costs associated with owning and operating a vehicle? Green commuting can save you a bundle. Studies show that drive alone commuters can spend over $8700 a year on their car or truck. Compare that to transit at approximately $1800 a year, cycling at $680 and walking at $250. Those are impressive savings.

In Manitoba transportation related greenhouse gas emissions represent over 35% of all our greenhouse gas emissions. Green and active commuting is one way individuals can contribute to local efforts to address climate change.

Assiniboine employees are recognizing the value of more greener and active commuting as well. See how Assiniboine Employees are Moving Toward Greener Commuting.

Join the Commuter Challenge

Often, Challenge participants quickly learn that the commuting options available to them are more convenient, cheaper or quicker than they thought. Over the last 15 years there have been many improvements to transit services and cycling infrastructure. The result is being a green commuter has never been easier.

If you’d like to learn more about the Commuter Challenge or other ways Green Action Centre can help your workplace embrace green and active commuting all year round visit here.



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