Peterborough This Week
May 1, 2013
By: Aaron O’Toole

(PETERBOROUGH) Shifting Gears Workplace Transportation Challenge enables alternative transportation, increases physical activity, reduces air pollution and decreases traffic congestion.
The program is urging people to leave their cars at home, and instead walk, bike, take transit or share rides for the month of May.
“For 10 years now Shifting Gears has run a vibrant, friendly, positive, and environmentally-conscious program that benefits the community in many ways,” says Mayor Daryl Bennett.
Mayor Bennett was congratulating those involved with Shifting Gears during their opening celebration on May 1.
“The idea is to encourage traveling in more sustainable modes,” says Brianna Salmon, the Shifting Gears ambassador.
“Twenty-five per cent of greenhouse gas is related to transport,” says Ms Salmon.
Lots of people drive when their destination is a few blocks away worries Peter Hughes, the executive director of GreenUP.
“Walking out the door and hoping in the car becomes habitual,” says Mr. Hughes, who walks to work every morning.
“About 68 per cent of trips that happen are one person in a vehicle,” he says.
There are approximately 100 companies on board with Shifting Gears and 1,500 participants.
“Participants who sign up before May 6 will receive an awesome incentive kit,” says Ms. Salmon.
There’s free walking, cycling or transit kits for the first to register at Participants can also track their trips online.
Walker kits include YakTrax shoes, which add traction to every step. Cyclers can recieve $20 gift certificates for B!KE: The Peterborough Community Bike Shop, 336 Rubidge Street. The transit kits include a 10-trip Peterborough transit pass. There will be a grand prize draw of $750 for Resorts of Ontario.
“We wouldn’t be here without the help of our dedicated organizers,” says Ms. Salmon.
Shifting Gears is organized by GreenUP, the City of Peterborough, Wild Rock Outfitters, the Peterborough County-City Health Unit and B!KE: the Peterborough Community Bike Shop.