Commuter Challenge Frequently Asked Questions

A New and Improved Challenge… What’s Different this Year?

The Commuter Challenge has been running for 30 years now! After all this time we wanted to do a little bit of a refresh, especially given how different this past year has been for everyone. Although we still plan to have a focus on how you commute, we also understand that people move around their city for all sorts of reasons, whether it be to go shopping, out to the park, or simply just going for a walk during lunch or in the evening, we want to recognize all of your trips when they are done sustainably! Time to Love ALL Your Trips!

So no matter where you are going or what you are doing, if you move with any active or sustainable modes of transport, you can log the distances and earn points to win. We want you to get active and have fun! 

What activities count towards my kilometres?

Any active and sustainable modes of travel! Have fun with it!

Here are some examples:

  • Going for a walk, run, bike; whether to get somewhere or simply recreationally
  • Head over to your favourite park;
  • Try taking your bike or bus to get your groceries;
  • Telecommuting/Working from Home (you’re helping the environment by just staying home!);
  • Change your commute to an active or sustainable mode;
  • Go for a jog or bike ride during your lunch break;
  • Take the dog (or cat!) for a walk;
  • Try out a new sport or activity, like kayaking, golfing, and roller-skating;
  • Enjoy a hike;
  • And so much more!

 What do I do if my activity isn’t listed?
Unfortunately, the website capabilities are limited for the amounts and types of trips you make. We hope to be making adapted pages and activities for future years but this year it is limited.
With that said, please input Walking for most activities, or an equivalent option to the level of activity you enjoyed.
If you are interested in seeing the impact your specific activities are making we encourage you to also sign up for GoManitoba, this has quite a few options for single trip types and will record the positive impact you are making to your health and the environment! And by using it throughout the month of June you will be entered to win a variety of additional prizes!

COVID-19 Response

Covid-19 has had a significant impact on mobility and we have created an adapted plan for the Commuter Challenge that lines up with restrictions and the continuous evolution. 

The Commuter Challenge centers on getting active and experimenting with new modes of sustainable transportation. With the simple joys of walking and cycling being discovered or rediscovered by many, we hope you will continue to explore the ways to safely get around and build healthy habits long-term. Health authorities advise that people stay active and get fresh-air for their mental and physical health; this week-long challenge will help emphasize the importance of that. 

New programming will help to connect people through shared experiences and collective goals.

Commutes will look different this year, so will the Commuter Challenge. We hope you will join us again this year!

See transportation advice from the Province of Manitoba here. Please keep up to date with local and provincial wide restrictions surrounding covid-19, ensure you are following all current public health regulations and adapt your activities accordingly. More information on current restrictions are available here.

How Teams Work for 2021

Teams do not necessarily mean that you do the activities and kilometres together, but that you work together for a collective goal of reaching 130km for the week.

Teams can be your household bubble where you do activities together. Friends and family can make it a friendly competition between each other to beat team members distances, colleagues can reconnect in a fun way while each tries a new activity and compares experiences, and workplaces can show their initiative to get their employees moving to contribute as a whole, these are all new, fun and different ways people can (re)connect through shared experiences and collective goals. Each individual participant’s km’s can be logged into their total team (or workplace) count, for better chances to reach the goal and win prizes.

Registration & Log-In

Who can participate? The Challenge addresses Canadians of legal driving age (16+). In the past it has been predominantly a workplace program but this year we have expanded it so that you can join in smaller teams with friends, families and/or coworkers or even as an individual. We will provide the opportunity for everyone to have a chance to win no matter how you join as long as you participate in and log some sustainable travel throughout the week!

I participated in previous years. Do I need to register again? Yes, please register again; it only takes a minute to set up your team or your personal account.
Until when can I register? Registration and logging will be accepted until Monday, June 7, 2021. You can enter all your distances at once for the whole week. Please go to the home page to sign up for the Challenge.
Do I need to pay a fee to participate as individual in the Challenge? No! In Manitoba, the challenge is FREE for anyone to take part. 
Why do I need to register? By registering with the Challenge you gain access to our tracking tool and can measure your impacts during week. You can also share your impacts with your friends and co-workers, lead by example and challenge them to participate in the Challenge too. This also helps us keep track of our records year to year and make sure you have a chance to win prizes.
I registered my team/workplace but now I cannot log in. What’s wrong? To protect your personal information we have separated workplace registration and individual registration. You already completed the first step by signing up your team/workplace. In order to track your personal commute please register yourself as individual under your team/workplace. You can use the same email address and password if you wish.

Can ANY group of individuals register as a team?
Yes, any group can sign up! Friends, families, co-workers, classmates, etc. We encourage you to join in groups of 1-5 people to qualify for the maximum amount of prizes. But joining as a workplace you will have different prize categories depending on the size of your workplace.

City & Workplace Coordination

I would like to get my community involved in the Challenge. How do I get started? Great that you want to get your community moving! Please check the Contacts page if there is already a host organization in your community. If there is no existing host organization, please contact the national Commuter Challenge office for further information and assistance. You may also find our Commuter Challenge City Coordinator kit and case studies from previous years useful.

Is there a local contact in my community that can support me with the Challenge?  In Manitoba, Green Action Centre coordinates the event. Please have a look at the Contacts page to find your contact. 
How can I promote Commuter Challenge in my workplace / community? Please check out the Coordinator Corner page to access materials and resources to help you promote the challenge! You can also sign up for the Online Info Session that will give you tons of useful information and tips to help make it a success!

Participation Requirements

What is a sustainable mode of transportation? Sustainable modes of transportation include: walking, wheeling, cycling, carpooling, taking transit, and telecommuting. These modes are significantly less harmful to the environment and personal health than driving alone. Everything active that does not involve motorized transportation is also considered a healthy and sustainable commute, e.g. rollerblading, skateboarding, unicycling, canoeing, etc.

Do I have to participate every day of Challenge week? To participate in Challenge you only need to make one trip without driving alone in your car. The more trips you make without your car, the greater your positive impact will be, and it will help to increase your standings against other teams and organizations! Bragging rights are always nice to have.
 

Tracking Your Trips & Measuring Impacts

I don’t know the distances I moved. Where can I find it? We recommend Google Maps to find out distances. Enter your home street address in the search field and click ‘Search Maps’. Your address will appear on the left side of the map; sometimes there are different options, e.g. for SW or NW. Click on ‘Directions’ under your home address and enter your destination address in the empty search field that pops up. Depending on your location you can choose different modes of transportation (car, transit, walk, bike). You can modify your search with different options like avoiding highways, fastest connection, distance in km or miles, etc. Once you have chosen all applicable options, you will then get three options with distance and time estimates.

How are my impacts calculated?
  • Calories: 55 per KM
  • Co2 = Potential Co2 – Co2 Emitted
  • Potential Co2 = Total KM * 0.2242 (assumes mid size car/gas) o Co2 Emitted = Total KM * [Emission Factor based on Mode]
  • Emission factors – Drive: 0.2242 – Carpool (2 people): 0.1121 – Carpool (3+): 0.0747 – Scooter: 0.0472 – Transit: 0.03635726
  • Fuel saved = Total KM / 100 * [Fuel Factor]
  • Fuel Factors – Drive: 0 – Carpool (2 people): 3.17 – Carpool (3+): 4.75 – Scooter: 7.5 – Transit: 8.9183 – All other modes: 9.5

 

How are winners determined? Community winners are declared based on their participation numbers in each population category. The population categories are:

  • Over 1,000,000 people
  • 500,000 and above
  • 250,000 and above
  • 100,000 and above
  • 50,000 and above
  • 25,000 and above
  • 10,000 and above
  • 5,000 and above
  • Less than 5,000 people

Local winners are also determined by City Coordinators based on different criteria including percentage of participation, most days participated, most kilometres traveled sustainably, most participants in a certain mode, etc. Some cities also draw individual winners at random among all participants to receive various prizes from sponsors.

This year we are also ensuring we have a greater variety of prizes for those that join individually or on smaller teams that are not associated with workplaces and organizations. That way everyone that travels sustainably throughout the week, even if they are retired or off work or just trying to get active will have a chance to win something!

 

More Questions?

If you have anymore questions send us an email and we will answer it as soon as possible.