Photo: Take the smart commuter challenge

Ride the bus or walk to work. (Credit: mechanikat via Flickr)

Many organizations participate in Commuter Challenge in the spring, but you can create your own challenge any time of year. Changing your commute requires a major shift in personal behaviour, so you may meet resistance from some staff. There will be inevitable barriers to individual efforts ("The bus never came!" "I got soaked on my bike ride!").Talk about them and see if there is anything you can do as an organization to overcome barriers.

Secure support from management. Invite key staff to volunteer as Commuter Captains in each department. Collect data on staff commuting choices.

Create buzz with email and staff meeting announcements, posters and bulletin board displays.

Ask for commitments: invite employees to register their participation online or in person and have Commuter Captains visit each employee personally to ask for a pledge.

Encourage friendly competition among departments, always maintaining a positive attitude.

Provide local transit information and free transit tickets. Post carpooling sign-up sheets and help match carpoolers in the same neighbourhood.

Host a special breakfast in celebration of healthy commuting.

Provide bike tune-up basics or a running clinic (see if your co-workers can share their skills).

Wrap up your event: Report participation rate and, if possible, calculate the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. Award prizes to the most committed departments and individuals. Share photos, stories and successes from the campaign.

Read more