Smart Commute Champion Award – Open Streets Hamilton
This award was created to recognize an individual (or group of people) who has made an outstanding contribution to the Smart Commute program and who is not a paid TMA or Metrolinx staff person.
Open Streets Hamilton is a collaborative team of community focused groups, non-governmentalorganizations, city departments and entertainers that came together to plan a series of events aiming to create an urban park on a street closed to car traffic and open to cyclists and pedestrians.
The two Open Streets Hamilton events held in 2010 were a great success, attracting 12,500 people from all over Hamilton on June 6 and September 26, 2010, to James Street North for a day of music, art and physical activity. Cyclists, inline skaters and pedestrians took to the open street and enjoyed an environment without cars.
Local artists converted the bridge over the rail yard into an art gallery. Neighbourhood kids enjoyed a temporary skateboard park. Zumba demonstrations drew big crowds. The Smart Commute program benefited from this organization because it involved various members of Smart Commute Hamilton and was an exuberant demonstration of how sustainable transportation can transform streetscapes and make cities more livable.
Congratulations to the participating organizations that form Open Streets Hamilton:
- City of Hamilton
- McMaster University
- Mohawk College
- Horizon Utilities Corp.
- Green Venture
- Environment Hamilton
- Hamilton Public Health Services
- North End Neighbours Association
- Beasley Neighbourhood Association
- Strathcona Community Council
- Kirkendall Neighbourhood Association
- Hamilton Cycling Committee
- Sky Dragon Centre
- Hamilton Waterfront Trust
- Hamilton Port Authority
Smart Commute Hamilton Employer of the Year - St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton
A greening strategic plan was developed, which includes broad goals to protect the environment, conserve our resources, promote healthy and healing choices, and support vitality and safety in work spaces. Part of this plan was to support a culture of commuting and encourage opportunities for alternative, as well as healthier, modes of transportation other than single occupancy vehicles. To support this goal, SJHH became a member of Smart Commute Hamilton in 2009, and is its fastest growing member.
Among its accomplishments so far:
- Launched Carpool Zone in September 2009 with initial participation of four active users. The number of active Carpool Zone users has increased more than 5-fold to 21.
- Inaugural participation in the 2010 Clean Air Commute resulted in 114 participants for a participation rate of 2.28% (fifth highest in Ontario for organizations with more than 3,000 employees). The average of 7.41 kg of pollutant savings per employee was the highest for all of Smart Commute Hamilton.
- 10 bike parking spots were converted to secure spots to increase utilization. Plans are in place to expand the number of secured bike parking spots to 40 by early 2011.
Smart Commute Hamilton Employer of the Year – McMaster University
In November 2008, the Office of Sustainability’s mandate was broadened to focus on a wider variety of areas. The All-modes Commuting and Transportation (A.C.T.) Office has evolved into one of eight key pillars adopted by the Office of Sustainability and includes education and promotion of public transit, biking, carpooling and walking.
Two of the major events that the Office of Sustainability hosts to promote sustainable transportation are the Commuter Challenge and National Car Free Day.
In June 2009, McMaster University won the Commuter Challenge in both number and rate of participation for the City of Hamilton, with over 750 participants. This year’s Car Free Day celebration includes a bike to work/school event and a group walk around McMaster's Campus lead by McMaster’s Vice President of Administration and Provost.
McMaster has an ever-expanding cycling community. This past summer The Office of Sustainability had a Secure Bike Storage Facility installed on campus which will be able to house over 46 bicycles. An additional eight bicycle racks have also been purchased and will be installed on campus this Fall.
McMaster University has a well developed carpool program. Each member of a registered carpool is entitled to twelve parking vouchers to be used on days where both members of a carpool require their vehicle on campus. The number of vouchers was increased from six to twelve during this past year to offer further incentives for the program.
The Office of Sustainability has worked with GO Transit to allow full-time McMaster students to use their student cards as their GO Student Discount card rather than having to go through an application process.
Smart Commute Hamilton Employer of the Year – City of Hamilton
The City of Hamilton was recognized for its work on several initiatives including its mandate to create, administer and implement trip reduction programs for its residents, businesses and staff.
As part of the City of Hamilton’s commitment to being recognized as a leader in environmental matters and innovation excellence in Canada, they work closely with stakeholders to encourage individuals to reduce the number of single occupant vehicles on the roads and pursue other forms of sustainable transportation including walking, cycling, carpooling and public transit - or a combination of these modes.
City Council’s approval of the Transportation Master Plan in 2007 provides clear principles and directions that the City has set out for itself.
Key documents approved by City Council demonstrate the on-going support for immediate, short-term and long-term changes to will make the City of Hamilton a great place to live and raise a family, work and enjoy the numerous leisure activities through the community.
The City’s work plan includes the following tasks to address the goals that have been established:
- Further promotion and utilization of discounted transit passes
- Interest-free loans to employees to purchase bicycles for commuting
- Provision of secure bicycle parking facilities
- Subsidized secure bike parking fees
- Emergency Ride Home policies
- Telecommuting policies
- Planning for a Rapid Transit network for the City
- Improved inter-regional transit connections
- Continued participation in recognized events to raise public awareness of sustainable alternative transportation options
Congratulations to the City of Hamilton on receiving the 2008 Smart Commute Employer of the Year Award for Smart Commute Hamilton.
Smart Commute Hamilton Employer of the Year – Hamilton Health Sciences
Hamilton Health Sciences has shown its leadership in offering sustainable transportation for its hospital employees. The HHS-Smart Commute committee was born out of the need to find solutions to the hospitals' parking crises. After reviewing the costs of building additional parking towers, this group of HHS volunteers knew they would have to be innovative.
In 2005, Hamilton Health Sciences made a commitment to promoting sustainable ways of commuting to work by supporting the work of Hamilton Health Sciences - Smart Commute. For nearly two years, these committed HHS-Smart Commute volunteers worked tirelessly to facilitate sustainable commuting options.
First, the Carpool Zone was put into place. To further entice staff, carpoolers were given the opportunity to designate any parking spot as their own. An Emergency Ride Home program was developed to put sustainable commuters' minds at ease. Negotiations brought HHS reduced bus passes. AT the time of this writing, the Human Resources department is finalizing an agreement with the Hamilton transit authority HSR to offer significantly discounted bus passes. Half of these are offered to those who turn in their parking pass, and the other half are offered to current transit users.
A secure bike shelter was built at each of the four main hospitals located across the city, accommodating nearly 400 bikes. In addition to security cameras, entrance to these shelters requires programmed hospital I.D. badges.
HHS participated in the Commuter Challenge in 2006 and 2007 and has accepted challenges of rival organisations within the city. During the week of the Commuter Challenge, environmental education material is emailed to all staff making them aware of their potential impact on reducing vehicle emissions by choosing sustainable modes of transportation.
Telework has been in place in Health Records section of HHS for several years, and now is in progress in other departments. As well, managers are no longer required to travel to different hospital sites each month to attend the CEO's meeting. Now this is all done by teleconference, significantly reducing monthly emissions.
The Smart Commute initiative has received support from HHS's most senior executives including Gayle Holmes, Assistant Vice President, Human Resources (now retired) and from Murray Martin, Chief Executive Officer.
With commitment from Gayle Holmes and the Human Resources department, the Smart Commute initiative received critical financial support for all of the TDM alternatives now available to HHS employees. In addition, Gayle Holmes was a voice at the executive level for ACE and Smart Commute initiatives. Murray Martin could always be counted upon to lend his influential support by communicating Smart Commute initiatives. HHS is also very committed to its role as a commuter leader. Murray Martin is always willing to hop on a bike or squeeze into a Smart Car in order to promote the Commuter Challenge! Finally the true leadership of this initiative came from a group of committed and dedicated volunteers who because of their own personal values and passion brought Smart Commute alive at HHS!