Canterbury District Health Board is launching a campaign to encourage staff to make changes to how they get to and from work.
The Clever Commuters project has been developed in conjunction with the Christchurch City Council and Environment Canterbury to make it easier for CDHB staff to walk, bike, bus or carpool to and from work. It is being launched at the Hillmorton Campus tomorrow (16 April), with a view to rolling it out to other campuses later in the year.
James Young, CDHB Sustainability Advisor, says changing how staff get to work, even just twice a week, will benefit staff, patients, the community, and the environment.
"Small changes by a lot of people can have a big impact," James says.
"Biking, walking, bussing and carpooling can save money, free up parks for patients, and reduce air pollution.
"Walking and biking can help reduce cardiovascular disease and stress levels, can improve mental health, and makes us more productive. Bussing and carpooling are great ways to beat the stress caused by Canterbury's bumpy roads, congestion and parking hassles."
A recent travel staff survey showed 83 percent of Hillmorton staff travel by car to work. Over 850 staff work at Hillmorton Hospital.
James says changing how we get to work can lead to staff spending less money on commuting.
"We know from our survey that about 20 people living in Rangiora commute alone to Hillmorton, at a cost of around $4000 a year. If they carpooled with three others they could save $3000 a year and create a quarter of the pollution and congestion. Not only that, they'd have a more sociable journey and be able to park in one of Hillmorton's new 'Carpooling only' car parks," he says.\
It is estimated staff from Linwood and Woolston could save $1000 a year carpooling, and those from Rolleston, Lyttleton, and St Albans could save $1800, $1200, and $700 respectively.
To celebrate the launch of Clever Commuters a travel expo is being held at Hillmorton Hospital on Thursday 16 April from 11.30am to 1.30pm. A range of activities and initiatives which make things easier and safer for staff to take a different way to work will be on display, including:
"In the consultations after the earthquakes the community asked for a more pedestrian, cycle and public transport friendly city. It's now up to us to make the change to these modes of transport for a healthier, productive, sustainable and ultimately better city to live in" says James.
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