Green Transportation

In North America, the movement of people and objects represents a significant use of energy and a major source of greenhouse gas emissions. This is because many forms of transportation rely on carbon intensive fuels, like gasoline or diesel. In many urban areas, the transportation sector is the second largest emitter (behind buildings) of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. It therefore presents a huge opportunity to mitigate climate change, through a combination of green infrastructure and technologies, simple actions leading to behaviour changes, and long-term urban planning.

For residents of Maple Ridge, transportation is a significant part of our carbon footprint. The city’s geographic design plays no small role in this, but it is also heavily influenced by economic factors. Examples of such factors include the fact that many Maple Ridge residents commute beyond city limits to work. Commuting to work, dropping the kids off at school, and even driving down to the corner store for some quick grocery shopping are all examples of transportation actions that emit greenhouse gases and contribute to climate change. To help address some of these issues, check out Maple Ridge’s career webpage to find a job with the City that suits you!

There are also several easy ways in which an individual can accomplish their transportation goals while reducing the environmental impact of their actions:

Active Transportation


Active transportation refers to movement that is powered by human activity. This includes (but is not limited to) walking, running, skateboarding, and cycling. Active transportation benefits your health, improves socialization, saves money, reduces road congestion, and helps protect the environment.

Taking Transit


For trips where it might not make sense to walk or bike, taking advantage of public transportation is a great way to get around while limiting your impact on the environment. When an individual chooses to take advantage of public transportation instead of driving their personal vehicle, they are essentially removing their car from the road for that period of time. This not only reduces greenhouse gas emissions, but it also helps to improve traffic congestion and driving conditions, as there are fewer cars on the road.

Whether you’re picking up groceries or traveling into Vancouver, catching a bus will allow you to bypass traffic and save money that would otherwise be wasted on gas. While Maple Ridge lacks a skytrain station connecting it to the rest of Metro Vancouver, there are several regular buses traveling from the center of the city (Haney Place) into Baird or Coquitlam Central Stations, where buses and trains depart for many different parts of the region.

Electric Vehicles


For individuals who frequently travel beyond the boundaries of Metro Vancouver’s extensive transit network, using an electric vehicle (EV) is an excellent way to reduce your transportation emissions. This is also true for those who feel that public transit does not meet their transportation needs.

Carshares


It is undeniable that owning your own vehicle provides freedom and the security of knowing that you can travel wherever you want, whenever you want. Unfortunately, vehicles can be very expensive, from the initial cost of the vehicle, to fuel, insurance, maintenance, and even parking. Furthermore, some of these costs are independent of how often the vehicle is used. This means that even if the vehicle sits in your driveway unused, it will still accrue significant costs, simply by existing. Caresharing companies allow an individual to avoid these costs, while still retaining the security of a readily available vehicle.

There are several different carshare companies in Metro Vancouver, some of which you’ve probably already seen driving around the region:
Individuals can also organize car pools with people traveling to similar destinations. Car pools help to save fuel, reduce congestion, and allow for a faster commute via Metro Vancouver’s HOV lanes.

Air Travel


Air travel is a very underrated source of greenhouse gas emissions. Perhaps because it is less common than other forms of transportation, like driving or transiting, the impacts of air travel are often neglected. This is not aided by the fact that airline companies exist outside national jurisdictions, and so their emissions are often unaccounted for by the international community. In reality, traveling by air has a greater climate impact per kilometer than other modes of transportation. This is the main reason why eating local is such an important sustainability strategy.