Will you leave your car at home this week?
Commuter Challenge Week encourages people to walk, bike, take bus
It's Commuter Challenge Week and that means there may be more people than usual walking, biking and bus-ridng to work in Regina over the next few days.
From June 5 to June 11, residents are encouraged to leave their cars at home and try a more environmentally friendly way of getting to the workplace.
"There's lots of options that are good for your environment, good for your health, good for your pocketbook," said Sara Maria Daubisse, Bike Regina president.
"There's a car culture here. But many people don't need to have their car sitting at their workplace for eight hours. They could bike, walk, take transit downtown to work, even rollerblade."
People are also being encouraged to carpool, ride-share or even telecommute.
The Commuter Challenge Week is an annual event that takes place throughout Canada.
It's a friendly competition between Canadian cities and workplaces.
But Daubisse says she'd still like Regina to be more competitive with other communities when it comes to participation.
Five per cent of Regina people cycle for main transportation
"Right now we have about five percent of Regina people who cycle as their main mode of transportation", said Daubisse. "That's much lower than many other centres where there's better bike infrastructure. For example, protected bike paths, I'd say we're lagging behind because of the lack of infrastructure."
Bike Regina says implementing the city's 25 Year Transportation Master Plan could improve the number of cyclists and reduce the number of motorists.
It's a long term vision for how people will travel around Regina for the next 25 years.
The plan calls for a fewer percentage of vehicle use during peak travel times.
The city says it's working on the transportation plan, which it expects early next year.
In the meantime, Daubisse hopes the Commuter Challenge will help change Regina's car culture.
"I understand the distance and climate factors. But even if you live in the suburbs, there are buses,"said Daubisse. "At the very least maybe you and your neighbours can carpool. We live in this culture that there's one person in every car. I know that's hard to let go of. But we don't need it."
As part of the challenge, Bike Regina will be leading a public group ride on Tuesday, June 7. The ride, which leaves from the Cenotaph in Victoria Park at 7 p.m., is encouraging participants to dress in business attire.
On Thursday, June 9, Bike Regina will be hosting a "Ride with Administration and Council".
The ride will leave City Hall at 5:30 p.m. and will end in Candy Cane park at approxiamately 6:15 p.m. City councillors and members of city administration have been invited
The event wraps up with a barbeque.