Commuting options make a winning solution

News • Posted by OttawaStart on September 16, 2011

Officials from both sides of the river kicked off Sustainable Transportation Week today at the Canadian Museum of Civilization. The week is part of an international movement that runs from September 16 to 22 and is meant to raise awareness about how we get around.

Mayor Jim Watson and Marianne Wilkinson, Chair of the Transportation Committee joined forces with Quebec officials; Norman MacMillan, the Québec Minister for Transport and Minister responsible for the Outaouais region, Patrice Martin, Gatineau Councillor and Chairman of the Société de transport de l'Outaouais (STO) and Alan Riel, Gatineau City Councillor.

"We are always looking for cleaner and greener ways to move around our City," said Mayor Jim Watson. "Sustainable Transportation Week allows us to bring even greater focus to public transit, cycling and walking as great ways to travel throughout Ottawa."

The day began with a bike-bus-car challenge that took place during rush hour, demonstrating the practicality of commuting by bicycle or transit.

“We all benefit from making sustainable transportation choices,” said Councillor Marianne Wilkinson. “An active lifestyle, better air quality and less congestion on our roads are all great reasons for taking the time to think about how we get around the city.”

“Transit is such a convenient option,” said Councillor Deans. “All our buses are now accessible, air conditioned and equipped with next stop announcement systems, which really adds to a positive travel experience on OC Transpo.”

It is the first time Ottawa and Gatineau have pooled their efforts to promote the initiative. The two cities are running an online contest with prizes for those who give sustainable modes of transportation a try.

Highlights of the week ahead include a breakfast conference on sustainable mobility with speakers from the National Capital Region and the U.K. on September 21 in the Champlain Room at Ottawa City Hall, and a temporary Bike Museum and OC Transpo Rack & Roll demonstration to celebrate World Car Free Day on September 22 at Marion Dewar Plaza.

Best of all, pledging to walk, bike, carpool or take transit at least once during Sustainable Transportation Week makes you eligible to win one of four great prizes – an annual OC Transpo bus pass, a pair of VIA Rail round-trip tickets to Toronto, a bike or a car-share membership for a year.

For more information and contest details, visit

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