Four simple ways to encourage employees to bike to work!

biking to work

Joseph Byer leading the pack to celebrate Softchoice’s 2012 listing as one of Canada’s Greenest Workplaces by Maclean’s magazine!

It’s no secret that in North America, more and more commuters are choosing two wheels instead of four, or giving up their transit pass to avoid the crowded subways and busses. There are many more reasons than just traffic frustration as well including health benefits both physical and mental.

Aside from the reasons on the personal level, there’s no shortage of reasons for companies to promote the use of the bicycle as an efficient means to get to work every day.  For that to work, there are some things to consider that will encourage those would-be cyclists to drop the excuses and start pedalling!

As a year-round bike commuter, I’m lucky to to work for a company that not only provides shower facilities but also has a very casual dress code for regular in-office work days. Occasionally I may have to “suit up” to meet clients, but for the most part jeans and a T-shirt are perfectly acceptable.

So what can other business do to make it easier for employees to choose the cycling option?

[Read more…]

Why Businesses Should Offer a Green Commute Program

Encouraging your employees to leave their cars at home improves more than just air quality

Just some of the Softchoice green crew who bike to work every day.


In honor of the Toronto Group Commute’s Bike to Work Day and Bike Month, we wanted to spread the word about green commuting.

But biking isn’t the only way! Softchoice employees take advantage of anything from carpooling to public transit to using their own two feet – all part of our company incentive program that encourages employees to travel green.

Long-time Softchoice employee, Joseph Byer, takes advantage of the Green Commute program almost every day. “I often wish my trip was longer,” he says. “When the weather is nice, I purposefully take the scenic route. I also like taking my bike out over lunch and getting some extra fresh air.”

Softchoice isn’t the only one. Many companies also support ‘greener’ commuting through providing various programs, including: [Read more…]

It just got easier to bike to work!

Want to bike to work. but worried about the safety of your bike? Well, today the Liberty Village Business Association released their new Bike Here! program which launches twelve new bicycle racks, and three clusters of secure storage lockers, to make Softchoice’s neighbourhood friendlier to cyclists.

The twelve new bicycle racks are far from the ones you are used to, they are artist designed pieces, reflecting the creative spirit of the community. The designs were submitted late last year to the Bike Here! Committee, and those designs are featured on the central panels of the new racks.

[Read more…]

Clean Air Commute Challenge Day 5: Adventures on the TTC

Congratulations Softchoice! We have reached the fifth and final day of the Clean Air Commute Challenge and we have done very well! Today we’re going to go over the most infamous yet the most popular way of  commuting in the city of Toronto: The TTC. 

It’s rough and tough, all over the media, and people complain about it more than anything in this city. However, the TTC gets us from point A to point B and back seven days a week. It moves millions. Drivers work to ensure passenger safety and work as a team to keep passengers fully aware of any delays and problems. With an operation so large, it’s no doubt that there will be problems.  Today we talked to Adam Wolfson, Jay Lee, and Heather Reilly about their adventures on TTC.

Adam takes the TTC everyday for approximately 30 minutes to work each way which comes to about 300 minutes a week!  “I don’t really enjoy much about the TTC to be honest, but the fact that it’s an environmentally friendly way to travel around the city makes it well worth it.”

Heather takes the TTC daily as well and thinks it carries some benefits for it’s riders. “The expense of a monthly TTC metropass is much less than the total cost I would have had with a car: parking costs at my apartment, car lease payment, insurance, gas and maintenance costs for a car,” she says. “If you’re able to commit to public transit or carpooling to get to and from work, it’s an easy way to make an environmental impact and help lower the amount of pollution a single car can emit.”

[Read more…]

Clean Air Commute Challenge Day 4: Let’s Carpool it

Alright Softchoice, today is day four of the Clean Air Commute Challenge and we are simply rockin’ it! Everyday this week we have been featuring a radical new way to get to work and save the environment at the same time. So far we’ve covered walking, biking and taking the GO train. Today we’re going to tell you about the option of carpooling, featuring some of our very own carpooling superstars: Ben Ball, Jeff Parmenter, Sonya Vasdev, and Esha Kumar.

Since the gas prices have gone up dramatically in the past few years, carpooling has become a much cheaper and environment sustaining option for many people. Ben and Jeff carpool together everyday and will continue this fabulous method of transport during the challenge. ” The distance is not bad at all. It depends on traffic, but between 25-45 minutes, compared to an hour plus commute through transit,” says Ben.

Ben and Jeff both prefer the carpooling to any other method due to some interesting experiences [Read more…]

Clean Air Commute Challenge Day 3: It’s time to GO!

We’ve reached the middle of the week and this can mean only one thing…It’s day 3 of the Clean Air Commute Challenge! Today we will be discussing a very classy and comfortable way of getting to work while helping the environment at the same time: The GO train!

Softchoice has many employees who use this method of travel and are doing their best this week to really up their game. Today I spoke with our GO train savvies Robert Poretta, David Brisbois and Jason Rand who all gave me the low-down on the joys of taking the GO train.

All three of these enviro-savvy gentlemen take the GO all year round commuting approximately an hour, to an hour and 15 minutes each way. David is stepping it up a notch for this week.” This week I took the train 4 out of 5 days. I also plan to take the bus to the go station two days this week opposed to driving to the go station”

Jason has also been taking some fantastic actions within his household to live a greener lifestyle. “I carpool with my wife to the Oshawa GO Station and  I take the GO  every day. We recently bought a new vehicle and didn’t  keep the old one (two cars in our household). [Read more…]