An exciting initiative is being recommended to the BC Government to reduce unnecessary and unwanted commuting. Extensive research shows that within a year tens of thousands of people in BC could be offered closer commutes. Through simple, little-to-no-cost actions by employers we can eliminate 5% to 10% of all commuting miles traveled across our province’s urban areas – relieving congestion for everyone. There will be comparatively minor cost for Government to support and administer this, with huge benefits to commuters, their families, employers, the economy and the environment.

Tell the Premier and the Minister of Environment & Climate Change Strategy and other politicians that you support this happening! Sign the petition to insist that the BC Government expedites mandatory “Commute Trip Reduction” efforts by all medium and large employers in BC. 

The first recommended step will be to require all public sector organizations (PSOs, such as ministries, crown agencies, health authorities, the education system, etc.) to begin tracking the carbon emissions (the “carbon burden”) from their employees’ commutes. Next, these PSOs will be required to make “best efforts” to reduce that burden through shortening, greening and making active as many commutes as possible. Once that is established, all other (non-PSO) medium and large employers will be added into the process.

Transportation accounts for almost 40% of BC’s carbon emissions. If BC is to meet its carbon reduction goals, bold action in transportation is required. We simply must improve efficiency. This commute trip reduction initiative is designed to encourage a culture of sustainability that will mobilize every BC citizen to take positive actions small and large, to increase efficiency at home and at work. Together we can ensure sustainability of BC’s economy, environment and quality of life.

Sitting in traffic gridlock for hours each week? Want a closer commute? Same job, same pay, same seniority – but at a much closer worksite? One of over a dozen commute trip reduction tactics for employers is called “CloserCommutes.” Closer commutes can be offered to teachers, bank employees, nurses and other health care professionals, firefighters, retail chain store associates, chain restaurant staff, laundry workers, police, IT techs, etc. – anyone working for a multi-worksite employer and who wants to switch to a closer location. Our analysis of StatisticsCanada data shows that within a year over 10,000 people in Vancouver and Victoria could be offered closer commutes simply by switching to work places closer to their homes – same job and employer, same pay and benefits, with a shorter, less expensive, greener commute. Accepting a transfer would be voluntary, but why would anyone turn down this opportunity?

By signing the petition, you are urging the Government to expedite the roll-out of this proven program. The “powers that be” need to hear that you are supporting prompt action:

  1. implement a regulation under the Climate Change Accountability Act to require public sector organizations to begin measuring the carbon burden associated with their employees’ commutes. [This Act already requires PSOs to measure the carbon emissions associated with many other aspects of their operations, and reduce or buy carbon offsets to be considered “carbon neutral”.]
  2. implement a second regulation requiring all PSOs make best efforts to reduce the employee commuting burden amount by shortening and greening employee commutes, and
  3. extend the requirements to medium to large employers in all other sectors.

Imagine how life will be improved for so many people when so much needless commuting is eliminated. Commute trip reduction tactics are straightforward for employers to implement – and are proven to save the employer money on HR expenses and to boost productivity. So the only barrier is overcoming organizational and regulatory inertia – which you can help overcome by signing the petition.

Please sign the petition today. Then share with your co-workers, family, neighbours – everyone you know. Let’s blow this up and get to tens of thousands of signatures… so we can expect to see the first closer commutes offered by this autumn.

To see the extensive research and development behind this proposal to Government, check out the “How” page.

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