Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Guest editorial: Car pooling in the OPS

A guest editorial by Dan “the Smog Man” McKnight in the lead up to Clean Air Commute 2008 Week - June 23 - 27.

Save Money on Gas; Reduce Air Pollution – Join a Car Pool

Now it’s easy with “OPS Carpool”.

Have you ever driven to a meeting, looked around the room, and seen other staff who also drove from the same place? If only you had known in advance you could have car pooled and saved money, gas & reduced air pollution. Pollution Probe estimates that if you car pool with just one other person you will save about $ 2000.00 a year, and cut your air pollution in half.

Well now there is a web-based tool to assist Ontario Public Service (OPS) staff in forming their own car pools for commuting to work or business travel. It’s called “OPS Carpool”, and it can be found at “” or under “My Services” on “myOPS”.

As OPSEU members we can be proud this site was created by OPSEU represented staff at the Ministries of Transportation (MTO) and Environment (MOE). This is just another example of how the efforts and creativity of OPSEU members can have a significant positive impact on our environment.

I originally created this intranet site to help MTO staff reduce smog. MOE felt all ministries could also benefit from this application, so it was expanded to include all OPS staff. Hopefully this site can be expanded to even more people in the future.

OPS Carpool allows staff to review existing car pools, or post their own car pool listing. This application is designed to be user friendly. Maps are used to help match staff to a desire carpool. This site also contains maps of MTO’s car pool lots across Ontario.

So why drive alone ? With today’s high gas prices it’s time to get someone else to help pay. Your efforts to car pool will also help us all breathe a lot easier by reducing smog & green house gases. Let OPS Carpool get you started to a cheaper, cleaner, and less stressful commute.

Dan “the Smog Man” McKnight
President OPSEU Local 270 (Ministry of Transportation staff in Niagara) Dan is affectionately known as "The Smog Man" by his colleagues at the Ministry of Transportation where he is a senior policy analyst. He has pedaled his way to work each day for the past 12 years. He credits the facilities at the St. Catharines office for allowing him to do it. “I'm saving money, doing something positive for the environment, reducing traffic congestion, getting exercise, and I have about two hours a day extra family time.” Dan has led MTO’s Clean Air Commute event since its inception several years ago.

Note: The link in the article is only available within the OPS network.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow "Dan the car pool man"I think you have started something in OPSEU. It would be great to see if we can set up a similar pooling at head office OPSEU.

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