Staff and faculty take up the commuter challenge


[img_inline align=”right” src=”” caption=”Dick Day”]So far, about 35 McMaster faculty and staff have registered for the Hamilton-Wentworth Commuter Challenge.

The challenge, part of Canadian Environment Week, is aimed at encouraging a large number of people to leave the car at home and use alternative means of transportation for the week starting today (June 5). The prize is the distinction of being the region in Canada with the highest percentage of commuters.

Cycling enthusiast Richard Day (pictured at right), academic director, Centre for Leadership in Learning, was among the first to sign up. Since he rides a bike to campus every day, he admits it's not much of a challenge. He says he registered to raise people's awareness of the value of alternative transportation. “It's all about consciousness-raising, making people think about their life choices.”

Although McMaster student and MSU member Bryce Rudyk always walks to the campus, he too signed up. “I did it in the hope that others would participate.”

Bryce acknowledges that while many people will probably make the effort for the week and then revert back to using their cars, there is always a chance that attitudes and habits will change. “They might realize they actually prefer to walk or that taking public transit is no big deal.” Even one week, he adds, “is a pause for the environment”.

Those who feel overwhelmed at the thought of giving up the car for a week can still participate. In recognition of Clean Air Day on Wednesday, June 7, everyone is encouraged to take public transit in an effort to propel their community to the head of the line in a national competition for the most public transit commuters.

It's not too late to register for the Commuter Challenge. Just click here