The smarter way to commute

Sometimes it can be a pain to commute to work or school. Smart Commute Durham is looking to change this by providing alternative ways for commuters.


Smart Commute Durham is a joint partnership between Metrolinx and Durham Region. The aim of Smart Commute Durham is to help employers in the region and commuters by finding and promoting sustainable options for commuting, such as carpooling, public transit, cycling, teleworking, walking or even flexible work hours.


Smart Commute Durham was established in 2007 along with 11 other communities across the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area. Durham College has been part of Smart Commute Durham for the past five years.


Tanya Roberts, the sustainability coordinator for Durham College says, “It just gives you an alternative option to driving to work.”

Roberts says Durham College has multiple options that contribute to Smart Commute Durham including, carpooling, the U-Pass to give students access to Durham Region Transit, parking spots designated to those who carpool to the campus and also the Student CarShare program.

She also says a bike-sharing program is in the works for Durham College.


Smart Commute Durham’s website provides tools and information including a section that can help you find someone to share your trip to work or school, it will also help you decide the best way to get to your destination and there also an online calculator that can help you determine how much money you could save by using alternative transportation methods.


In early October, a survey was sent out by Smart Commute Durham to Durham College and UOIT students and faculty to ask how they get to and from the campus. Roberts says more than 2000 people responded to the survey which greatly exceeded their expectations.


Roberts says the survey revealed students and faculty are interested in finding new alternative ways of commuting.


“We got a very high demand for the survey, which shows that people are interested, they’re engaged, so we want to make sure that they have the resources they need to commute the way that they want to,” says Roberts.