Shifting Gears to Connect With Your City

April 29th, 2016

By Hillary Flood, GreenUP Coordinator, Transportation Programs

The Community Shifting Gears Transportation Challenge officially launches its 2016 campaign today at the Peterborough County-City Health Unit. The Challenge encourages people to walk, cycle, carpool, telecommute, or ride the bus during the month of May for chance to win weekly prizes, giveaways, and a grand prize of $750 for Resorts of Ontario.

Josh Johnston from Thin City Skateshop, who highlighted the new skateboarding courses, skateboards next to Hillary Flood, GreenUP transportation program co-ordinator and public health nurse Dawn Hanes during a press conference launching the 13 annual Shifting Gears event on Wednesday April 27, 2016 at Peterborough County-City Health Unit in Peterborough, Ont. (Photo Credit: Clifford Skarstedt, Peterborough Examiner)

Josh Johnston from Thin City Skateshop, who highlighted the new skateboarding courses, skateboards next to Hillary Flood, GreenUP transportation program co-ordinator and public health nurse Dawn Hanes during a press conference launching the 13 annual Shifting Gears event on Wednesday April 27, 2016 at Peterborough County-City Health Unit in Peterborough, Ont. (Photo Credit: Clifford Skarstedt, Peterborough Examiner)

It’s not just your commute to work that counts in this year’s challenge. All transportation trips count including errands, walks to school, social trips, and appointments, making this year’s challenge within reach for everyone. Registration is now open at www.peterboroughmoves.com with three parallel challenges for workplaces, schools, and individuals living in the city of Peterborough.

This year, the month-long competition will be offering more weekly prizes and giveaways than ever before to inspire Peterborough locals to use active and efficient modes of travel. Participants who log least one sustainable trip a week using the online trip tracker will be entered into a weekly draw for one of ten $30 gift certificates for a downtown lunch experience.

Josh Johnston of Thin City Skateshop, Mayor Daryl Bennett, Sue Sauve of City of Peterborough, Brianna Salmon and Hillary Flood of GreenUP, and Dr. Rosanna Salvaterra of Peterborough County-City Health Unit spoke at the Shifting Gears Launch on April 27th.

Josh Johnston of Thin City Skateshop, Mayor Daryl Bennett, Sue Sauve of City of Peterborough, Brianna Salmon and Hillary Flood of GreenUP, and Dr. Rosanna Salvaterra of Peterborough County-City Health Unit spoke about the importance of choosing sustainable and active transportation at the Shifting Gears Launch on April 27th.

In today’s fast paced society, our transportation decisions are often based on habit – and while our lives can feel hectic and many of us have become quite conditioned to choosing driving as our default mode, this challenge gives us pause to reflect on whether walking, biking, bussing, or ride-sharing might get us from A to B in a healthier and more enjoyable way.

Choosing to use sustainable transportation is about more than just getting from A to B. It’s about making a conscious effort to improve your physical and mental health and it’s about lowering emissions so that everyone can enjoy a healthier environment. It can be about you and how you connect with your city and the surrounding geography.

The Canadian Mental Health Association has identified sustainable transportation as a contributing factor in reducing stress and social isolation. Immersing yourself in the city by bike, bus, or on foot increases opportunities for social contact. The Shifting Gears challenge offers people the opportunity to build a stronger sense of belonging and place during May, and creates an incentive for participants to explore the city from a different perspective.

The Shifting Gears program is among the most successful transportation demand management initiatives implemented in Canada. Shifting Gears significantly reduces the number of Single Occupancy Vehicle (SOV) trips made during the month of May by encouraging community members to walk, cycle, carpool or ride the bus.

The Shifting Gears program is among the most successful transportation demand management initiatives implemented in Canada. Shifting Gears significantly reduces the number of Single Occupancy Vehicle (SOV) trips made during the month of May by encouraging community members to walk, cycle, carpool or ride the bus.

In 2016, Shifting Gears will work to build a local narrative focusing on our dynamic interactions with our urban cityscape. Community members from across Peterborough will be out there riding the bus, walking side streets, and running through local trail systems. Shifting Gears hopes to capture these stories this May through a series of citywide pop-up appearances. Program Ambassadors will be hitting the streets with free giveaways while collecting stories about your local travel experiences. Pop-up’s will be scattered throughout the city with location teasers leaked on Twitter. To stay in the loop follow Shifting Gears @ptbomoves.

Community members spotted using active transportation will be highlighted on the program’s social media channels. Shifting Gears hopes to create an interactive dialog highlighting Peterborough travellers and creating a space where locals can share their experiences on Twitter and Facebook using the hashtag #MyShiftingGears. Every traveller has a story to tell about a Peterborough that is very much their own, and Shifting Gears wants share those stories.

Free community cycling and skateboarding courses are also being offered in partnership with B!KE: The Peterborough Community Cycling Hub and Thin City Skate Shop to help support safer travel adventures. Course will be limited to small groups and will require registration. To discover more about Shifting Gears courses, and to register, visit the Peterborough Moves website at www.peterboroughmoves.com/course-workshops/

Shifting Gears is a program that is possible due to ongoing support from several partners including GreenUP, B!ke, Wild Rock Outfitters, City of Peterborough, and Peterborough County-City Health Unit. For more information about Shifting Gears, please contact GreenUP Coordinator of Transportation Programs, Hillary Flood at hillary.flood@www.greenup.on.ca or at 705-745-3238 ext. 205.

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