Closer Commutes – Our Mission
CloserCommutes.org is a volunteer-driven initiative to radically reduce commuting times and distances. Our five-year goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by one per cent globally, save commuters billions of hours annually and boost corporate productivity, while lowering HR costs, decreasing traffic congestion and pollution, lowering healthcare costs, and strengthening regional economies.
For liability purposes and to provide management consulting services, we have set up CloseCommute Systems Inc. as a BC-registered corporation resolved as a benefit corporation.
Starting in Canada …
CloserCommutes.org is developing a blueprint for a Closer Commutes campaign to reduce the commuting time and distance of thousands of Vancouver and Victoria area workers. The process – for commuters and their employers – is simple to understand and implement: allow and encourage long commuters to switch workplaces with someone doing the same job at a different location so both can work closer to their homes. The impact will be impressive: we project a 5% to 10% reduction in overall daily vehicular traffic.
- For long commuters – more quality time each day, lower stress and improved health, reduced commuting costs, etc.
- For employers – reduced costs for absenteeism, hiring, training and extended health benefits, higher productivity, etc.
- For society and the environment – $100s of millions in regional economic benefits, reduced traffic load, faster commercial deliveries due to reduced congestion, less pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, etc.
CloserCommutes.org is providing the scientific foundation and a toolkit for employers.
Providing an irrefutable, research-backed business case
Our recently-completed analysis of employee commuting data for a region of the RBC Royal Bank of Canada confirms our approach is realistic, and our projections for traffic reductions are plausible. More than 75% of the bank’s employees appear to be commuting longer than is necessary. For at least half of all employees, there is one peer, if not several, doing the same job at a different branch who could immediately swap locations for mutual benefit – not to mention the benefits to the employer and society – at no cost to the bank. Our examination of data for teachers, municipal employees, healthcare workers and other occupations (using our StatCan dataset, see below) confirms the scope is similar across all sectors.
We’ve assembled an extensive annotated bibliography of peer-reviewed research into the effects of long commuting and how to quantify those effection – it is grim reading, and a call for action by everyone.
Download “The Effects of Long Commutes – An Annotated Bibliography” as a PDF from closecommute.com/research.
We commissioned from StatCan and are analyzing a custom cross-tabulated dataset on commuting flow broken down by occupation, sex, commuting length of time (10-minute intervals), census subdivision, commuting flow patterns, mode of transportation – these are the most complete and detailed data ever produced on four Canadian Metro Census Areas. We are providing these data free to transit planners, employers, academics, unions and the public. A example take-away: Five out of every six teachers are commuting needlessly far. If we could rectify that colossal waste of time and stress on teachers, imagine how the classroom experience might be improved.
Web app testing
We launched a prototype web app for long commuters in March of 2017 with the initial test limited to Metro Vancouver‘s one million daily commuters and Greater Victoria. We confirmed techniques for using APIs to link to Google Maps’ massive database in real time, and also learn that we need to involve government agencies to have the amount of publicity required for a successful regional campaign.
“10,000 Closer Commutes for BC”
We’ve launched a grassroots support campaign to encourage the BC Government to implement a region-wide campaign as soon as possible. We are welcoming media partners, sponsors and endorsers. If you have contacts to suggest or expertise to offer, please email Bruce at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 250-380-0998. Thank you!