Overcast 9 °C Overcast

Transportation

With soaring gas prices and congested roads, there are plenty of reasons to go green in transportation. Currently, 44% of Victoria's greenhouse gas emissions are from transportation (City of Victoria), while 90% of Victoria residents live less than 10 km away from their work. More companies are greening their fleet and encouraging staff to commute by bus or bike. The benefits of alternative transportation sit well in your pocket and on your conscience.

    Transportation accounts for 36% of all greenhouse gas emissions in British Columbia.
    –LiveSmart BC

      Outline


      Staff Commuting

      Driving to work in Downtown Victoria is expensive, time consuming, and stressful. Using other modes of transportation will save you money and reduce pollution in the downtown core. Human powered transportation is earth friendly and keeps your health in check. Plus, Victoria has 25km of bike lanes!

      Benefits of Biking and Walking

      • Reducing car and truck traffic congestion and easing demand for parking 
      • Conserving energy and lowering greenhouse gas emissions
      • Improving public health and fitness through physical activity
      • Making our communities more desirable places to live, work, and visit
      • Reducing fuel and parking costs

      Downtown favorite, Habit Coffee, has purchased a custom Dutch cargo bike that can move supplies with ease between downtown shops.

      Transportation Price Comparison

       

      Cost/day

      Note

      Vehicle $8-$12 Including gas and parking, no other vehicle related expenses
      Bus $5 Roundtrip fare at regular price
      Bike/Walk Free Great for your health!

      Bicycle Parking

      There are 1,000 bicycle parking spaces available on downtown sidewalks within downtown metered zones and more than 100 bicycle parking spaces in the City’s five parkades. These free, covered spaces include 24 hour security. Four of the City’s parkades even offer free electric bike plug-ins. Parking Services Victoria is always looking for bike rack installation suggestions on public property. Contact City of Victoria Parking Services at parkingservices@victoria.ca.

      The parking lot beneath the Bay Centre off View St. has locked bike storage, showers, lockers and change rooms for $20/month. Call 250 952 5680 for more information.

      Why not provide showers and towel service for employees to encourage cycling?

      Employee Incentive Programs

      Level Ground Trading, a Victoria-based, Direct Fair Trade coffee roaster provides employees with an exciting green transportation subsidy. The concept is simple: the company pays employees for commuting to work sensibly with the aim of lowering overall commuting emissions. Self-powered modes of transportation (such as by foot or by bicycle) pay $0.10/km travelled, mass transit provides $1 per direction, and carpooling is $0.50 per direction. The subsidies incurred for each pay period are paid on regular paychecks.

      The UVic bicycle bursary program, called Spokes, has been wildly successful. Your business can create its own bicycle bursary for staff that “would bike if they had one”. Broad Street Bike in downtown Victoria can even build custom bikes for your business.

      Ride the Bus
      Encourage your employees to ride the bus. Victoria has a great public transport system that can get you anywhere. Public transportation goes a long way in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and saving money. It also allows you to relax, read or nap during the commute instead of feeling road rage. Consider implementing PROPASS for your employees, a perpetual bus pass purchased at work by payroll deduction for a minimum of one year.

      Staff Carpooling
      Put up a “Carpool” white board in communal space and let staff self-organize their ride sharing. Encourage carpooling by offering incentives and providing information on carpool programs like Carpool World.

      Victoria Car Share Co-op
      With car sharing you get all the benefits of using a car without the headaches of owning one. Once you are a member, reserve and use any of their vehicles throughout Victoria. They offer memberships for small business, large business, and developer memberships.

      Studies show that one car share vehicle can help take up to 20 other vehicles off the road. –City of Victoria


      Flights vs. Teleconferencing

      Video conference technologies are better than ever, making it difficult to justify flights. Flying, although convenient, emits intensive greenhouse gas emissions. To illustrate, one round trip flight to Toronto rivals commuting to work in a small car for an entire year. Video conferencing can reduce 99% of the energy used for trans-continental flights.

      Skype is user friendly and free. For $10/month you can upgrade to Skype Premium, which includes group video calling for three or more people.

      Most telephone and internet service providers also offer professional systems for businesses including wireless technologies, plasma screens, recording options, and even video conference room rentals. Check with your service provider to find out what options are available to you.


      Company Vehicles

      Vehicle models 1995 and older emit approximately 19 times more smog forming emissions than 2004 and later models. Replacing a 1990 sedan with a 2009 hybrid can result in a reduction of up to 67% in greenhouse gas emissions.
      –SCRAP-IT BC

      Green Your Fleet

      Is it time to upgrade your fleet? Hundreds of eco-efficient, affordable vehicles have come to market over the past few years. Below are a few examples:

      prius.jpg Mid Size: Toyota Prius
      Annual Fuel Cost: $798 (20,000 km/yr)
      Annual Electricity Cost: approximately $400
      civic.jpg Compact: Honda Civic Hybrid
      Annual Fuel Cost: $945 (20,000km/yr)
      Annual Electricity Cost: approximately $400
      chevrolet.jpg Large Van: Chevrolet Express Cargo
      Annual Fuel Cost: $2,583 (20,000km/yr

      Source: Natural Resources Canada's Office of Energy Efficiency

      Driving Smarter

      Optimizing driving routes saves time and money. It is worthwhile to engage staff and map out frequent routes. Identifying overlaps, traffic lights, and other obstacles prolonging your drive will help you develop a transport strategy that is more efficient and less stressful. Routing software may be worthwhile for larger fleets.

      The Condo Group with Burr Properties is a great example of a business taking progressive steps to reduce its environmental impact. Six months ago, The Condo Group upgraded their fleet to smart cars, hybrids, and scooters reducing their footprint and increasing their environmental profile.

      The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter vans are a great cargo choice. With approximately 25 MPG, it beats the 10-15 MPG found in classic cargo vans.

      If you retire your 1995 or older vehicle, you will be able to choose from a long list of incentives including transit passes, bicycles, car sharing memberships, new or used cars, or $300 cash?

      Fuel

      Company fleets are costly and burn loads of fuel. Follow these simple tips to reduce fuel consumption:

      1. Take vehicles in for regular tune-ups
      2. Maintain proper tire inflation
      3. Slow down and avoid jackrabbit starts and short stops
      4. Reduce idling
      5. Minimize air conditioning

      Reducing highway speed from 100 km/h to 90 km/h improves fuel economy by about 10 per cent and will save you $164 a year in fuel per car.

      Find out your vehicle’s annual fuel consumption.


      Alternative Fuels

      Fuels such as biodiesel offer a renewable fuel alternative. Reduce dependency on polluting petroleum-based fuels and reap the benefits of reduced costs and environmental brand value. If your older diesel vehicle is guzzling money, consider giving it another life by feeding it fryer oil.

      Biofuel

      Biofuel is derived directly from living matter. The most common forms of biofuel are biodiesel and ethanol. Biodiesel is made from vegetable oils or recycled greases while ethanol is a bi-product of fermentation from corn, wheat or other plant matter. When mixed with regular diesel, these fuels can be used in any diesel engine.

      Some companies will pick-up your waste cooking oil and convert it to biodiesel. You will be paid for product usually removed at cost and support the creation of environmentally friendly fuels. Columbia Fuels and Island Biodiesel Coop both supply biodiesel.

      Vegetable Oil

      Veggie oil can be used in older vehicles with indirect injection engines. Using deep fry or other waste oils typically requires a conversion kit, although some older models of Mercedes can run directly from veggie oil.

      Local hot spot Red Fish Blue Fish (RFBF) uses their deep fryer oil to power a 1970 Mercedes Benz 300SD. This diesel machine is converted to use RFBF oils, which also saves on waste disposal. See the video above.

      CVS Cruise Victoria has been using Bio-Diesel since they day they opened and their coaches are now powered by 100% bio-fuels.  They were the first major bus Company on Vancouver Island to move to B50-50 Bio-Diesel, and in May 2008, upgraded to B100-100 percent bio-fuel. (star icon)


      Learn More

      Business Listings

      Helping you connect with a downtown business is a big part of what we do at the DVBA.

      Sign Up For Our Newsletter

      Sign up now to keep up to date with what's happening downtown!