June 2023 marks the start of an exciting new initiative.
It’s during this month that the City of Greater Sudbury is launching Smart Commute, a new rideshare and carpooling program.
The intention is to make ridesharing easier for residents and to encourage more people to carpool when possible and help reduce single vehicle occupancy.
“Smart Commute focuses on meeting individual customer needs through a wide range of transportation options. It focuses on coordinating these options by providing the support, resources and incentives to boost cycling, walking, carpooling and transit ridership,” says LyAnne Chenier, Active Transportation Coordinator for the City of Greater Sudbury.
Smart Commute also offers a free app to help you explore your options for sustainable travel across the Greater Sudbury area.
EarthCare Sudbury has created a network of over a dozen organized carpooling parking lots throughout the city. Simply drive your vehicle to one of the designated locations, meet up with your carpooling partners and leave your vehicle for the day—without having to pay for parking.
To leave your vehicle in a park-and-ride lot, get a carpool pass and display it on your dashboard. You can get one from EarthCare Sudbury, either by email or by calling 705-674-4455, ext. 4398. Spaces are limited and are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis.
Active Transportation Coordinator
The Active Transportation Coordinator is responsible for championing active transportation-related issues, initiatives and programming throughout the city. Chenier organizes both the RideShare program and Bike Month, which also happens in June.
She has witnessed several changes since the inception of this role. The City has developed policies, plans, programming and events, some of which include:
- Complete Streets Policy.
- Transportation Demand Management Plan.
- Transportation Demand Management Community Grant Program.
- Bike Racks for Business Program.
- Approximately 140 km of cycling infrastructure installed.
- Three bike corrals added to the City’s downtown.
- Adoption of “Bike Month” in June of every year.
“The City has seen changing habits and attitudes. More people are using active travel to get places,” says Chenier.
The City is aiming to achieve a 35 per cent rate of active mobility transportation by 2050. In addition to carpooling, residents who are interested in sustainable transportation can bike or use transit to get to work or school.
June also happens to be Bike Month. Greater Sudbury residents are invited to (re)discover the joy of riding a bike during the City’s annual celebrations.
Bike Month kicked off on June 1. There are dozens of ways to celebrate and participate, including community rides and free events like the Kids’ Bike Exchange, which is hosted by Sessions Ride Company in partnership with the City of Greater Sudbury.
Bike Month Events
- May 29 to June 2 - Bike to School Week
- June 1 - Bike to Work Day - Commuter Café in Memorial Park from 7 to 9 a.m.
- June 8 – Mayor’s Bike Ride at 6 p.m.
- June 15 and 17 - Sudbury Market - Information on safe cycling and promoting Smart Commute
- June 18 – Kids’ Bike Exchange – Tom Davies Square Courtyard from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
To follow the conversation, use these hashtags on social media:
Public transit is considered a mode of low-carbon transportation. The City plans to make 100 per cent of transit and City fleet electric by 2035. It also aims to enhance transit service and increase this mode of transportation among residents to 25 per cent by 2050.
Using local transit is a great way to get around the city. If you choose to ride your bike as well, every bus has an exterior bike rack, so you can cycle to your nearest bus stop and take the bus the rest of the way. Learn more about GOVA Transit.
The Benefits of Sustainable Transportation
Choosing a method of sustainable transportation comes with many benefits, including:
- Monetary saving
You can save money on parking and fuel if you rideshare or carpool to work or school. Transit is also a cost-efficient mode of travel: a 31-day pass is $88 for adults and $75 for students.
- Healthier lifestyle
Walking, riding a bike and taking public transportation all get you moving more, which benefits your body, adds to your step count and reduces sedentary behaviour. Ridesharing or carpooling also improves mental health through increased social interaction, reducing loneliness and isolation.
- Helping the environment through reduced greenhouse gas emissions
The fewer vehicles on the road, the fewer greenhouse gas emissions are being pumped into the atmosphere, improving air quality for all.
- Accessibility and equality
Using the existing transit network is easier (and more environmentally sustainable) than investing in a car. Having an easy, economical way to get around makes all parts of the city accessible, and benefits small shop owners, big businesses and tourism operators alike.