Vernon has won back the title of top small city in Canada in the Commuter Challenge.
The Commuter Challenge takes place annually during Canada’s Environment Week and is meant to raise awareness about sustainable modes of transportation. Vernon residents joined over 17,000 Canadians who took the challenge to “do what moves you” and use any mode of transportation other than driving alone. Nationally, participants travelled over 1.5 million kilometres and saved over 250,000 kilograms of greenhouse gas emissions.
Vernon edged out reigning champion Brandon, Man. to take first place in Canada in the population category of 25,000 to 50,000.
Vernon participants logged 4,920 km, burning 72,460 calories and saving 795 kg of greenhouse gas emissions. Cycling and carpooling were the most popular modes of transportation for participants in our city.
“Vernon residents stepped up and showed the rest of Canada that we can compete with the big cities when it comes to being green. We didn’t just beat Brandon, we were competitive with cities twice our size,” said Angela Broadbent, active transportation coordinator.
The top workplace team was The City of Vernon. The Vernon Jubilee Hospital and W.L. Seaton Secondary came in second and third place respectively and Community Futures of the North Okanagan had the highest participation rate of any workplace.
Events such as the Commuter Challenge can have long-term benefits for our community by encouraging residents to change their travel behaviour.
“Walking, cycling, transit, and carpooling reduce the number of single occupancy vehicles on our roads, which in turn decreases traffic congestion, saves money by reducing wear and tear on City infrastructure, and helps to build a healthier and more sustainable community,” said Mayor Akbal Mund.
For more information about the Commuter Challenge visit www.commuterchallengebc.ca.