June 19, 2012
Members of the Queen’s community made a significant contribution to the City of Kingston’s winning effort during the recent Commuter Challenge.
Ninety-eight Queen’s participants logged at least one active commute June 4-8, either by cycling, on foot, by public transportation or carpooling. The recorded active commutes by Queen’s faculty, staff and students represent 346 litres of fuel savings and 809 kilograms of CO2 emissions avoided.
Overall, Kingston placed first in the Commuter Challenge for cities with populations of 100,000 to 250,000, avoiding 4,430 kilograms of CO2 emissions and saving 1,740 litres of fuel.
Campus organizers were encouraged by the participation rate during the first-time event and hope to build on the momentum next year.
“Queen’s is the major employer in Kingston and because of its small campus located near the city centre it already has an enviable proportion of 'active commuters' among staff and students,” says Roger Healey, in the Office of Institutional Research and Planning and a member of the Kingston Coalition for Active Transportation. “Nevertheless, Queen’s can do much more to encourage all employees and students to leave their cars at home and make active commuting part of their daily routines."
Queen’s is developing a Climate Action Plan (CAP) that will set targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions the university directly controls. The CAP advisory committee is also examining ways Queen’s can promote the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions that occur as a result of university activities such as commuting and corporate travel.
Mr. Healey encourages the university to support active transportation including subsidizing transit passes for employees much like the Alma Mater Society does for students; building state-of-the-art secure storage facilities for bicycles.
The university is embarking on a process to update the Campus Master Plan, including looking for ways to make the campus more accessible for pedestrians and cyclists.