Toronto Region’s Smart Commute Program

Project Highlights

For almost 15 years, UrbanTrans has been developing and delivering TDM programming for the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA).  It has been our genuine pleasure to help establish, grow, and participate in the unrivaled TDM program development.  A sample of our results is showcased below.

Program Formation

In 2003, our team helped conduct a successful federal grant Urban Showcase Initiative application for the development of a TDM program for the Greater Toronto Area. The regional program established a regional, non-governmental commute-service organization known as the Smart Commute Association housed today within Metrolinx. The Smart Commute Association offers an array of TDM strategies and coordinates local efforts to form networks of employers, developers, educational institutions and others in promoting transportation choices and offering localized TDM services.

 

Transportation Management Association Development

Our team has had the pleasure to conduct the feasibility assessment and subsequent formation efforts for the following successful area Transportation Management Associations (TMAs):

  • Black Creek Regional TMA (2000- now called Smart Commute North Toronto Vaughan)
  • Smart Commute Mississauga (2005)
  • Smart Commute Brampton-Caledon (2005)
  • Smart Commute Hamilton (2006)
  • Smart Commute Pearson Airport Area (2009)
  • Smart Commute Scarborough (2010)

 

Program Evaluation

The Smart Commute program was created in 2004 to provide TDM services throughout the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area. It was initially funded by federal grant funds that were matched by the region’s transportation planning agency, Metrolinx, as a pilot program. Upon conclusion of the pilot, UrbanTrans assisted with a comprehensive survey to determine participants’ levels of satisfaction with program services, staff and events and the success of the program. This enabled Metrolinx to quantify success and create long term programming.

 

Smart Commute Expo

UrbanTrans has been retained for the past five years to deliver pre-packaged outreach tools and assistance throughout the GTHA. This program, called the Expo requires continuous facilitation and coordination between Metrolinx, individual TMAs and employer worksites. Expos offers employers and TMAs an “on-call” outreach service to address transportation issues at worksites while offering commuters a chance to interact, connect and learn about their current commute and potential alternatives. Our team is directing the coordination, delivery, outreach and follow up of all Expo events including the over 225 unique events already completed!

 

Employer TDM Recruitment and Program Delivery

Through our experience in TDM program delivery, we have worked with nearly every imaginable employment industry and addressed commuter barriers at each. These include TDM programs with hospitals, universities, retailers, manufacturers, sales, corporate HQs, banks, government contractors, local/regional/county/state/federal governments, technology firms, casinos/entertainment facilities, police and fire departments, and other diverse employment industries. In fact, you name it— we’ve got a story.

Smart Commute Halton, located 35 minutes west of downtown Toronto, provides an excellent example of our success in developing a recruitment strategy and implementing it with clear results.  UrbanTrans was retained by the Region of Halton in 2010, to provide member recruitment assistance for its Smart Commute program.  Over the past 34 months UrbanTrans has assisted the region in surpassing its regional targets by recruiting 12 new employers and developing custom TDM programs for each based on site assessments and survey results.  These employers include: Tim Hortons HQ, Sheridan College, government/military contractor L3 Wescam and Morguard Property investments.  Since 2011, we have more than doubled the amount of employer partners.

Smart Commute Brampton-Caledon (SCBC), located northwest of downtown Toronto, is a TMA which blends urban and rural landscapes.  The area is home to major Canadian headquarters, logistics companies, and numerous manufacturing employers.  Since managing the program in 2008 until today, UrbanTrans has seen a 263% increase in program participation. This achievement also represents the largest number of ridematch applicants in the region. At the time of this analysis, SCBC represented 24% of the entire region’s carpool ridematch applications and SCBC’s formed-carpools represented 30% of the entire region –a region that was comprised of eleven (11) TMAs.