Sustainable Commuting

When it comes to commuting to work, we have many options to choose from. We can drive to work, take public transit, telecommute, walk, bike, rollerblade, skateboard, fly, take a train, or ride a bus. The list goes on and on. At different points in my life I've experienced most of the aforementioned methods of commuting.

Each method has its own distinct advantages and disadvantages. For the last 4 years in Toronto, I have been commuting using the most sustainable and rewarding method of transportation I could possibly imagine: walking.

It's the most relaxing, reliable, healthy and sustainable method of transportation that exists. I live in the King West area which puts me within 40 minutes walking distance from hundreds of thousands of jobs. It's amazing how much freedom comes with walking to work.

Not only do I walk to work, I walk almost everywhere I go. As long as I can reach my destination in an hour or less, I'll be walking. The odd time I need to drive is when I play hockey, do groceries or when I'm visiting friends/family out of town.

When I walk to work, I don't need to worry about traffic, gridlock, gas prices, road rage, flat tires, accidents, break-downs, stress, transit delays, overcrowding or snowstorms. I'm free to go wherever whenever, and I always know what time I will arrive at my destination.

According to Statistics Canada, as of 2006, 72.3 percent of Canadians still drive their car to work. But even setting aside the environmental impact from cars, they still aren't a sustainable method of mass transportation in a world of 6 billion people; there simply isn't enough space. Therefore, we'll always have the need for public/shared transit and walking or biking to work will never go out of style.

Embedded above is a video of my 20-minute commute to work along King Street West, compressed into a 3-minute video, featuring Winnipeg, Manitoba band The Weakerthans with Civil Twilight.

Written by guest contributor James Schwartz.

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