The success in Commuter Challenge comes from its community of over 20,000+ Canadians who sign up every year! We are always excited about adding new friends to the annual challenge, and we recognize that sometimes it just takes a little push from a friend or coworker to get engaged. Find some of that inspiration you need than with the commuter stories featured below!
If you would like to be featured alongside these fantastic folks please send us a photo of you commuting in a sustainable way and tell us why you green commute! Tweet or Facebook share your story using #CommuterChallengeMB or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Brad Lazer (2016)
“I cycle and skateboard in the community because it’s easier to get places, as opposed to transit and even getting a green car seems a bit out of the way considering that I choose to live close to where I work. To have the option to skateboard or bike makes more sense to me.”
Nicole Aiken (2016)
“I commute to get exercise, to help save myself Nicole pic (Hydro) money for parking downtown and to help make it a greener planet, honestly. My favourite part of biking is that it gives me a chance to both gear up for and unwind from my day, and I would also say seeing other cyclists or other people out there commuting and getting a chance to share that experience with others. I think everyone should sign up for the Commuter Challenge cause a lot of folks are already commuting and they don’t even realize it when they are carpooling or taking transit. They should sign up because it might give them a chance to try different commuting that they’ve never tried before and that it’s just a great thing to help the planet.”
Matt Billinkoff (2016)
“I enjoy the weather and I enjoy being outside. And it’s good exercise. As you can see, being outside brings a smile to my face!”
Karen Lind, Bonnie Tulloch, Bran Adams, Amy Brown, and Heather Mitchell (2016)
Park Programming Department – Assiniboine Park Conservancy
“The Journey to Churchill exhibit at the Assiniboine Park Zoo inspires people to make personal connections to climate change through stimulating their sense of caring and concern for charismatic animals, like our polar bears, whose very existence is threatened due to human behavior. We are working to educate people of all ages on climate change, endangered species, and the actions each and every one of us can take on a daily basis to help the environment and wildlife. This is why the Commuter Challenge is important to us. We feel that, as educators, we need to work towards living a healthy and environmentally sustainable lifestyle so we can be role models to the people we are educating on these important environmental issues.”
Christie Fischer and Pamela Roz (2016)
These 2 super commuters are sisters on a mission! Not only are they commuters, but they have challenged each other to see who can be the most commuter-est in the family!
Christie Fischer (2016)
“Walking and taking transit are already my main commuting options – the Commuter Challenge helps to remind me of just how many GHGs I avoid and how I am contributing to both my own health and the health of the environment around me. My 45 min walk home from work is my chance to relax and stay connected to the nature surrounding me each day.”
Pamela Roz (2016)
“Taking the bus takes one more car off the road and makes the air we breathe that much cleaner. It’s a small step, but it’s a step in the right direction.”
Sandeep Sidhuphoto (2016)
“I bike usually in the non winter months because I find it faster than other modes of transportation and I don’t have a car. I’m bussing otherwise. I get to go on my schedule and it’s good for the environment and it’s good for me. It keeps me more in shape than if I wasn’t cycling.”
Alex Allardyce (2016)
“I believe that our government can play a big role in helping to achieve environmental sustainability by supporting policy initiatives such as the promotion of sustainable transportation. Taking small steps like these will help ensure that we all have a healthy environment to live in.”
Naomi Gichungu (2016)
“It’s planting season again and one of my best volunteer tasks of all time! Other than the joy that comes with volunteering for the community, I enjoy my everyday walk to the centre and back. My winter school term was very busy and I had very little time to dedicate to any workouts. It’s a real pleasure stretching muscles and catching some fresh air for about half an hour every day. I am committed to building better and stronger communities in a healthy environment.”
Erika Frey (2016)
Sustainable Commuting is important to me because it reduces emissions, it helps me to be physically active and it allows me to be connected to people. For most of Erika Frey-Outside Social Enterprise Centre next to our bike parking areamy working life in Winnipeg I have taken the bus. Riding the bus allows me to meet new people and to stay grounded and connected to my community.
I have recently started to bike to work. I had thought about it for a long time but was always a bit afraid of doing it In a urban setting. I have been inspired by many of my fellow co-workers at LITE and Social Enterprise Centre who bike to work. So I decided to try it out! Something that helped me was that on my first day riding back home two fellow co-workers “bike buddies” were nice enough to ride with me. They showed me the best bike routes and sheltered me for most of the way.
Their patience and support really encourage me to do it again and to be more confident and re-gain the love for biking something that I use to do a lot growing up in a small town in the Peruvian Rainforest Region.
Adam Prokopanko and Lea Cote (2011)
A couple of weeks ago, my co-worker Lea and I took a critical look at how we bus home at the end of the day. We both travel from downtown to the north edge of Winnipeg, on two separate but similar bus routes. Instead of being alone during our journeys, we figured that we could both take a different route in between the other two. We still have to walk roughly the same distance after the bus drops us off but at least we get to make most of the journey together.
Commuting is a lot more fun together! We get to talk and unwind after work and our time on the bus seems to pass much more quickly. I’ve quickly gotten used to our new arrangement and I’m disappointed on the days when our schedules don’t align and we travel separately. Even though our shared commute may not be the best option in the winter, it’s much more enjoyable during the rest of the year!
You don’t have to be a transit nerd like me to find a new busing option. Try Winnipeg Transit’s Navigo trip planner to discover the options available to you. There are also many TransitTOOLS that allow you to get real-time updates on your bus by phone, text message, Twitter, or smartphone browser anywhere, anytime. Knowing the different route choices for your destination gives you more flexibility and minimizes the time you spend waiting for transit, especially if your preferred bus is running late.
Trying new forms of commuting has social as well as environmental benefits. Being able to travel with someone who regularly commutes by transit or active transportation makes it more enjoyable to try something new. If you are already an active commuter, offer to show a friend, family member, or co-worker the ropes. You’ll both gain a commuting buddy and help make your trip a fun part of your day!
Executive Director, Downtown Winnipeg BIZ (2011)
If you add it all up, the price of driving is a cost to our city. From continual road repair to significant and adverse environmental effects, our dependence on cars continues to shift focused downtown development to urban sprawl.
Active transportation, carpooling or transit provides immediate benefits to our communities and our city, produces less congestion and pollution, helps us connect with one another, and improves our health and productivity.
That downtown vibrancy we like to talk about is only possible if we bring people downtown. And we can do this by taking the lead from other cities who have adopted progressive transportation models that promote transit use, land use patterns that encourage transit (zoning that favors density and mixed use, for example), and create infrastructure for walking and cycling. This is why I bike to work – to continue to urge our city to invest in all modes of transportation and there is certainly room for them all. Let’s get going!
Al Perron (2011)
Al Perron from Investor’s Group regularly walks to work all year round, even on days with a wind-chill of -52C. When asked about why he chooses to walk to work, he had the following to say.
“I do it for the daily physical exercise, stress reduction and cost savings,” said Al. “I am fortunate to live only 30 minutes walking distance from my workplace and I have found it to be a very convenient way to add an hour of daily physical activity for the last 25 years.”
“By walking and leaving the car at home, the cost savings are huge,” said Al. “As we all live in a fast paced environment, walking to and from work has allowed me the time to slow the pace down and enjoy my surroundings that are missed when commuting by vehicle. It allows the benefit of meeting numerous other commuters that I often see and talk to daily. You definitely get to fully appreciate the four seasons that we have. ”
“Walking is one of the best ways to becoming physically active and to keep healthy,” said Al. “It allows you to be refreshed when you arrive at work as it provides you with a lot more energy. Also, I believe that the greatest benefit to my daily walk has been regarding my health. Unfortunately all members of my extended family (brothers, sister and parents) have diabetes and I believe that this daily routine has kept this health issue at bay.”
“The overall benefit is to maintain a healthy active lifestyle for many years,” said Al. “It all starts with one step at a time. Try it, you’ll like it!”
Susan Wardekker (2016)
Hopping on the bus is an easy, affordable and comfortable way of reducing the number of single-occupancy vehicles on our roads. Not only does it cut down the costs of parking, gas and vehicle maintenance but it also adds opportunities for personal time into a busy schedule. And with the variety of helpful resources from Winnipeg Transit, such as the Navigo bus trip planner and the Bus Guide for mobile devices, taking the bus has never been more convenient and easy. Just ask Susan Wardekker, who started taking the bus when her husband needed their only vehicle for his work. Because leaving the house at 5:30 a.m. was not appealing, taking the bus was the logical option for her.
“What started as a necessity has become a great cost saving and, for me, a fun and convenient way to commute to work,” said Susan. “I have met some really fascinating people on the bus over the years, some of whom are now also really good life-long friends. It’s a surprisingly unconventional networking system. As well, riding the bus on the journey to work gives you an opportunity to take the time to reflect on your plan of action for the day and on the way home to de-stress or to reflect on your plan of action for the remainder of the day.”
“Give transit a try, you might be surprised,” said Susan. “You may even find that it could work into a healthy habit”.
Stuart Williams (2016)
“Biking is a year-round activity that gets you outdoors, promotes regular physical activity and can help one feel reconnected to their community. Even in the extreme Winnipeg weather, biking is a practical and worthwhile method of getting to work. Stuart Williams bikes to work in the downtown area year round, and has seen for himself the many benefits of getting on his bike.”
“Biking to work reduces cost, increases health and is great way to wake up and start the day,” said Stuart. “For me it’s faster than, or almost as fast as, the bus, depending on the season and how many layers I have to put on. In the winter it’s certainly warmer than waiting for the bus! I like getting some exercise as part of my commute. I save money and pollution relative to riding the bus. I like the mental break the ride home gives me at the end of the day.”
“Try biking to work for a while,” said Stuart. “Like any exercise, for most people it’s hard to get motivated to start your workout, but you never regret it afterwards, you’re always happy you did, and you wonder why it was so hard to get started in the first place.