Active Transportation

Posted 2014-07-24
Written by
Category Taking Action

Here in the NWT we are very lucky that most of us live within 5 kilometres of our place of work. No matter what form of transportation we choose to get around, it never takes us very long to get to where we need to go compared to living in a larger community down south. This makes our home communities great places to reduce the number of vehicles driving with only one person in them.

During the cold, dark winter months I will admit that only the people with greater physical endurance are willing to ride a bike or walk to get where they want to go, but the summer is a great time to leave the car at home and walk or bike to work. I find the exercise in the morning makes me more alert when I arrive at work and more in tune with my community – and I get the chance to meet people and say hello on the way to work.

The cost of driving a vehicle alone to work is considerable, an estimate of fuel cost is $10 / week (1.5 litres per day x $1.38 / litre), plus parking for those of us that live in Yellowknife, plus the wear and tear on your truck or car. You also need to consider the cost of annual vehicle maintenance, the insurance costs, vehicle registration fees, and monthly payments if you do not own the vehicle outright. If you can eliminate all these costs from your household budget it would free up a considerable sum.

If there are times that you can walk, bike or catch a bus instead of driving by yourself, it does help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and save your household some money; and you may just get a bit of exercising without having to pay to use a gym, or enjoy a chat with someone along the way.

And for those of you concerned about greenhouse gas emissions, Arctic Energy Alliance will be testing an electric vehicle this winter to see how it performs in our climate. Electric vehicles do not create greenhouse gas emissions directly and in communities where electricity is generated by hydro, the electricity is also a clean source of energy.