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Active Commuting

What is active commuting? Active commuting is about using active-transportation (AT) - walking, cycling or public transit - to get to and from work.


Why Actively Commute?

Most people travel to / from work using motorized transportation. For some commuters it may be possible to use AT for part or all of their commute. There are numerous benefits (PDF) to active commuting and they all start with thinking outside the car! First of all, active commuting is an excellent way to build physical activity into a daily routine. According to Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines, adults should accumulate 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous aerobic physical activity per week in order to achieve health benefits. Active commuting can help reach that goal.


It’s also about time… In some cases, active commuting can take about the same amount of time as driving… or less! Consider the average amount of time it takes to travel when using your own human power (PDF):

  • Walking 1 km takes about 12 minutes
  • Cycling 1 km takes about 5 minutes


Driving less can also lead to personal cost savings which is good for personal economic health. Find out what it costs to use different travel modes (PDF):


Thinking outside the car and actively commuting also provides environmental benefits:

  • Air quality is improved,
  • greenhouse gas emissions are reduced; and,
  • there is less traffic congestion on the roads.

Public Health Nurse Bernie McCall shares her experience biking 7km to work. With a bit a planning, you can bike to work too.

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Active Commuting

Getting started – Transportation Choices

  • Walking
    Generally, trips of 5 km or less are walkable.
  • Cycling
    For most people, 10 km or less are bikeable.
  • Public Transit
    When trips are greater than 10km, public transit is preferred. Remember, you can combine walking or cycling with using public transit - all London buses are equipped with bike racks!

Here are some easy steps to get you Going with active commuting!

1. Decide what day/days of the week you will use active transportation for your commute.

2. Plan your route with:

3. Get to know the rules of the road.

Find out how workplaces can promote active commuting.

Date of creation: March 31, 2015
Last modified on: November 2, 2018