Waterloo Region earns international honour for TravelWise program

ION LRT vehicles get ready for their maiden voyages at Fairway Station. Kevin Nielsen / Global News

The Region of Waterloo announced it has received an international award for its TravelWise program.

The Association for Commuter Transportation bestowed its annual Outstanding Transportation Management Association Award on the region. The award is presented to the “organization that best uses its public or private partnerships to achieve local or regional transportation goals,” according to a release.

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The region describes TravelWise as an initiative from Grand River Transit (GRT) that allows local businesses to help their workers select sustainable transportation options.

The employers pay a fee, which allows their employees to access a discounted monthly travel pass, a private car pass network, service orientation and promotional events.

“GRT service improvements and the launch of ION light rail have been key factors in the success of the TravelWise program and recent growth in membership,” GRT’s principal planner Kevan Marshall said in a statement.

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He says the program and the increased service have encouraged local businesses to sign on with GRT and encouraged employees to try public transit.

“Most participating workplaces say the corporate pass and nearby transit service are the top reasons they joined the program,” Marshall said. “Similarly, their employees say the corporate pass is their top motivator to try something different than driving alone.”

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