THUNDER BAY –The City of Thunder Bay has joined forces with Commute Ontario in a combined effort to encourage more sustainable and active transportation among Thunder Bay residents.
SustainMobility (the non-profit social enterprise behind Commute Ontario) was awarded a three-year Grow grant of $710,000 by the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) in 2018. Commute Ontario provides programs and tools which promote active and sustainable transportation to municipalities and workplaces across Ontario completely free-of-charge.
This past fall, the City of Thunder Bay signed on with Commute Ontario as a municipality, meaning that workplaces and post secondary institutions within the community who participate will have immediate access to an online carpool matching tool called Carpool Ontario (https://carpoolontario.ca) as well as a host of programs, campaigns, additional tools and marketing and communications collateral all promoting active and sustainable transportation options. Locally, the programs will be delivered by EcoSuperior which is funded by the City of Thunder Bay Infrastructure and Operations Department.
“Commute Ontario is offering this terrific, turn-key program, free-of-charge that aligns with the city’s mobility goals,” - EcoSuperior Program Coordinator Ashley Priem. “We’re very excited to help promote the Commute Ontario programs that could achieve a lasting positive impact on the Thunder Bay community and surrounding area.”
OTF Grow grants were developed to help non-profit organizations like SustainMobility to expand on proven programs so that their reach can have an even greater impact. Commute Ontario will provide programs that have been proven to bring about long-term commuting behavioural change by promoting and providing incentives to try sustainable and active transportation (ie: carpooling, taking transit, walking, cycling, etc.). Commute Ontario is already making an impression.
“Commute Ontario is really taking off on a province-wide scale. We hear feedback all the time that people are interested in carpooling but need the right tools and resources to find a suitable carpool partner, or they think about trying walking or cycling to work but need a little extra motivation. Commute Ontario provides proven tools and resources to help meet these needs. We’re thrilled to have EcoSuperior as a partner in the Thunder Bay area. They do great work and to have them onboard will go a long way to help spread the word within the community” - Glenn Gumulka, Executive Director, SustainMobility
Municipalities signed-on to-date with Commute Ontario include Peterborough, London, Thunder Bay, Barrie, Brantford, Shelburne, Orangeville, Grey Highlands and Dufferin and Perth Counties. Post-secondary institutions such as Trent University, Kings College, Georgian College Orillia, Owen Sound, and Midland Campuses have also signed-up.
Transportation is a leading contributor of harmful greenhouse gas emissions (GHG’s) in Ontario, which also contribute to health problems. Commute Ontario has set a three-year goal of reducing 4-million Kg of GHG’s as well as 20-million vehicle kilometres travelled province-wide with the help and commitment of Ontario’s municipalities and residents alike.
Municipalities, workplaces and post secondary institutions across Ontario are encouraged to visit the Commute Ontario website to learn how they can get on board.
Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) is an agency of the Government of Ontario, and one of Canada’s leading granting foundations. OTF awarded more than $120 million to some 700 projects last year to build healthy and vibrant communities in Ontario. www.otf.ca