Smart Commute

Traffic congestion is a problem across York Region and will become a greater issue as Markham, Richmond Hill and their neighbouring communities continue to grow.

For businesses, traffic congestion results in lost time, lower productivity and higher transportation costs.
For employees, stress of the daily commute on congested roads negatively affects the quality of their life and work.

Richmond Hill, Markham and the Regional Municipality of York are building more roads and expanding public transit services to help with traffic congestion …

However, we still need to reduce the number of single occupant vehicles on our roads. The best way to do this is by offering employees Smart Commute options to get to work and home again. 

Smart Commuting is here to stay simply because our growth pattern makes it inevitable. Smart Commute 404-7, a non-profit association, helps employers and employees in Markham and Richmond Hill with Smart Commute options.

Why Smart Commute 404-7 Is Good For Employers

Smart Commute 404-7 helps local businesses combat traffic congestion.

Traffic congestion in Markham, Richmond Hill and Kitchener Waterloo is more than just a source of aggravation. For businesses significant costs can be directly attributed to traffic congestion – lost work time and productivity, higher transportation costs, and employee turnover when staff leave to work for a competitor who offers them an easier commute. And there are indirect costs such as the negative effect a stressful commute has on a worker’s quality of life and their work.

• Major highways congested in peak hours – 70%
• Cost of congestion (Greater Toronto Area)
– $1.8 billion per year
• Significant impact on goods movement
• Delays to employees & visitors
• Affects on site parking demand & supply
• Impedes employee recruitment and retention
• Stress to employees:
– 8 hour day now a 10 hour day, with less time for family
– Sick days become commuter-related and increase in frequency

Traffic congestion in Markham, Richmond Hill and Kitchener Waterloo will continue to erode us financially unless we do something about it. According to the 2001 Transportation Tomorrow Survey, trends point to an increase of 64% in auto trips by 2021 and a tripling in the number of congested roads. Government is building more roads and expanding public transit services but this is not enough. We need to address the main source of our traffic congestion – the single occupant vehicle. To do this, Smart Commute 404-7 needs your corporate leadership.

Smart Commute 404-7 teams with Markham and Richmond Hill employers
While employers in Markham, Richmond Hill and Kitchener Waterloo can help to reduce the number of single occupant vehicles by offering their employees alternative ways to commute to work they don’t have to do this alone. Smart Commute 404-7 can help. Just let us know you’re interested in promoting commute options and we’ll do the rest. By helping businesses improve their profit positions by reducing traffic congestion everyone benefits – the company, the employee, and the community.

Benefits to Your Business
A commuter option program offers many benefits to employers. Some benefits directly affect you, as an employer, while others are more indirect such as improved employee job satisfaction and a better community. Here are a few good reasons to get involved. Take for example if you were one of the many Kitchener movers that travel from Kitchener Waterloo to various areas in the GTA on a regular basis... A smarter commute would save a lot of time and money on fuel. In addition to cost savings from fuel, there are even more reasons:

Easier to recruit and retain employees.

A long, tough commute can make it more difficult to recruit and/or retain qualified employees. Offering new and existing employees commuter options will demonstrate your firm’s commitment to their well-being.
Increase employee productivity.

Employees who travel to work by public transit or ride sharing are more likely to arrive on time and be less stressed than those who drive.

Reduce lost time due to illness.

Work time lost due to illness is costly. Commuter stress plays a direct role in a person’s emotional and physical health.

Reduce parking requirements.

Less demand for employee parking frees up spots for your customers and visitors and in the long run, if you lease or maintain your parking facilities, you can save money by potentially reducing the number of spaces you need.

Improve traffic flow.

Reducing the number of commuting vehicles frees up much needed space on our roads, helping to move your product faster. It also increases road safety and that can have a positive impact on both business and personal insurance rates.

Lower facility costs.

Teleworking is a practical way to reduce the number of workstations you need. This can be a significant money-saver if you need to expand your facility by construction or leasing more space.

Get Involved – for Your Benefit
Any business wanting to participate in the Smart Commute initiative by offering commute options to their employees, is welcome to join. All you have to do is let us know you are interested and we will give you all the tools you need to promote commute options to your employees. We can also help you determine which commuter options are best suited for your particular company and employees.

Businesses in Richmond Hill should contact Paul Bradbury at 905-884-1961 ext. 24 or George Flint at 905-771-2455 and businesses in Markham should call Basil Marcello at 905-474-0730 ext. 14. If you are interested in knowing more about the Smart Commute 404-7 Association send us an email (click here for our handy form) or give us a call. We look forward to working with you towards our common goal of reducing traffic congestion!

Tire Studs For Winter

We'll be posting periodically about ways to stay safe while commuting. One method we wanted to bring up was tire studs... Tire studs are great for tires (please remember they are illegal in Ontario to use on public roads) but did you know you could also use them on boots and running shoes? If you are looking for ways to drive safer in Ontario winters, instead of going the studded tire route you should always make sure to keep up to date with Ontario road conditions.

The smallest tire studs will usually fit great on shoes or boots and help you maintain your grip while jogging this winter or help you on icy surfaces such as a day on a frozen lake trying to catch that monster trout or during your morning commute to avoid any slips. Tire studs also fits on bike tires, perfect way to create your own DIY studded tires.

Tire studs are easy to install with a simple drill and the installation tool. Simply drill the tire studs on your tires, shoes or boots up to the maximum depth the installation tool allows you to go. It’s already set to provide you with a 3mm projection which is the optimum projection and will create the best grip while making sure the tires studs stay in place.

Always check your tire lugs or sole before installing and if you are unsure about which studs to go for, go with a shorter one to be on the safe side.

Correctly equipped with Maxigrip tire studs, you will be able to keep your winter commute and help reduce our region’s traffic

Again, please remember it is illegal to use tire studs on Ontario roads. But for personal use on your own property or farm, these tips may come in handy.