Nearly 150 participate in first Commuter Challenge

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From left are Chantal Lalonde of Eastern Ontario Health Unit, John Towndrow of Transition Cornwall + and Acting Mayor Elaine MacDonald with Lori Loseth and Matthew LeDrew, the winners of the Commuter Challenge bike prizes from Bicycle World and Total Cyclery & Sports.

CORNWALL, Ontario - Participation in the city’s first Commuter Challenge event exceeded expectations, with 15 local workplaces and 142 Cornwall residents participating in the national event.

“The level of participation was great, much better than we anticipated for our first year,” said Chantal Lalonde, Health Educator Promoter at the Eastern Ontario Health Unit and co-chair of the Active Transportation Action Group. “Our vision for the City is that of a vibrant, resilient community with clean air, healthy citizens, and a safe, accessible and interconnected transportation system. The Commuter Challenge is a fantastic way for us to work towards making that vision a reality.”

The Commuter Challenge encouraged residents to leave their cars at home during the week of June 1 to June 7 and take advantage of the environmental and health benefits of active and sustainable modes of transportation such as walking, cycling, taking transit, car-pooling and even telecommuting. Thanks to the high participation level, Cornwall ranked in second place in Canada (behind North Vancouver) for mid-sized cities.

In total, the Cornwall participants logged over 630 active/sustainable commutes, burned upwards of 131,000 calories, saved over 750 litres of fuel and avoided over 1,800 Kilograms of CO2.

“It was great to see so many residents and workplaces getting involved in this initiative and sharing their photos and stories online,” added Lalonde.

The Commuter Challenge was hosted by the City of Cornwall, the Transition Cornwall + Active Transportation Action Group and the Eastern Ontario Health Unit. The partnership is a perfect fit for the Commuter Challenge as it promotes healthy habits, lowers our use of fossil fuels and increases awareness and use of existing active and sustainable transportation infrastructure.

“Transition Cornwall+ is part of a world-wide movement responding to the rising cost of energy and basic resources, as well as climate change impacts. The partnership with the City of Cornwall and the Eastern Ontario Health Unit, in the face of these challenges, helps our community become a stronger, safer and more caring place,” said John Towndrow of Transition Cornwall +.

The grand prize winners of this year’s event were Lori Loseth and Matthew LeDrew, who both commuted by bicycle throughout the entire challenge. They were each awarded with a brand new commuter bicycle from Bicycle World and Total Cyclery and Sports. Additional winners were also selected for their use of Cornwall Transit, litres of fuel saved, kilograms of CO2 avoided and number of modes of transportation used.

Organizations: Active Transportation, Eastern Ontario Health Unit

Geographic location: CORNWALL, Ontario, Canada North Vancouver

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