Burnaby, British Columbia – The end of summer signals an increase in the number of cars on the roads, and drivers should explore different commuting choices or plan to reduce their road-related stress, says the British Columbia Automobile Association (BCAA).

According to Statistics Canada, 79 per cent of work trips in B.C. are being made in cars. The average distance travelled between home and work is 6.5 kilometres, and in the Vancouver region, the average round-trip commute to and from work is 67 minutes. The number of workers using public transit increased from 7.5 per cent in 2001 to 10.3 per cent in 2006, and among all Canadian provinces, British Columbia experienced the largest increase in the number of work trips made on transit.

BCAA recommends the following transportation alternatives:

– Share a ride or carpool. This can provide a less stressful commute and use of the HOV lanes. To find a carpool partner, check ride-share databases such as Ride Share.

– Use public transit. Taking the bus, or in the Lower Mainland, the SkyTrain, SeaBus or West Coast Express, can alleviate traffic-related stress, which can offset any extra time it may take you to get to and from work. Some companies may be eligible to offer their employees discounted transit passes through payroll deduction. If transit isn’t close by, consider using a Park and Ride location where you can leave your car and take transit the rest of the way.

– Cycle or walk if possible. Many public transit facilities are now bicycle-friendly and let you take your bike on the bus or train.

For drivers who need their cars every day, BCAA recommends varying the commuting schedule, working from home if possible,  and identifying alternate routes that may be less congested.

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