TransLink seeks to help Sapperton TravelSmart

A pilot program in Sapperton to encourage residents to get around without using a vehicle has been extended a month to generate more interest.

The Sapperton TravelSmart program was developed by TransLink with support from the city and some area businesses.

The program challenges residents to pledge to take one less car trip per week, and let organizers know how they did it.

It was set up for the month of June but that’s been extended another month to get the word out.

“We haven’t had as much participation as we would have liked,” said JoAnn Woodhall, transportation demand officer for TransLink. “We’re just trying to help people who want to drive less … They have these thoughts but they don’t act on them.”

Sapperton seemed like an easy choice for the pilot project. It’s where TransLink’s head office is, with easy access to alternate ways to get around.

“We were looking for a part of New Westminster as part of the launch in an area that does have viable options. With the two SkyTrain stations in there, and with the Central Valley Greenway taking them into Burnaby [it seemed like a fit],” said Woodhall.

“It’s very walkable, even with the hills, and there’s services nearby. It’s just a matter of reaching the folks that are a point in their lifestyle that are trying to drive less.”

Sapperton TravelSmart has set up a carpool ride matching service. It also will provide maps and trip planning tools to encourage walking or simply taking a bicycle to the grocery store.

Woodhall hopes to get participants to log their trips this month so they can get a sense of what the needs are.

“It’s really just the tracker part of it, the logging of their trips that we identified for the month [as needing to find],” said Woodhall.

“We plan to engage them over the next couple of months because we know behaviour doesn’t change overnight.”


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