Take Action Burlington (transportation)

The first question to ask yourself when you're about to start researching vehicle types is whether or not you need a vehicle in the first place. If you do, then consider the following:

Purchasing/leasing a vehicle ...

  • Choose an energy efficient vehicle.
    • Refer to Natural Resources Canada's website for information about purchasing a fuel efficient vehicle including publications on fuel consumption ratings, fuel consumption calculators and the annual list of most fuel efficient vehicles in each vehicle category.

I have a vehicle, now what ...


  • Tire pressure imageFollow the maintenance instructions in your vehicle's owner's manual. A poorly maintained vehicle can increase emissions and fuel consumption by up to 15 percent.
  • Replace the oil with the proper grade and as often as recommended to improve the fuel efficiency of your engine, particularly when starting it cold.
  • Ensure your tires are properly inflated monthly. Did you know that one tire that is underinflated by 8 psi can reduce the life of the tire by 15,000 kilometres and increase fuel consumption by 4 per cent? (Source: Natural Resources Canada. Quick Tips on Auto$mart Vehicle Maintenance).


  • idling decalExcessive idling is NOT an effective way to warm up a vehicle. Idling only warms the engine - not the wheel bearings, steering, suspension, transmission or tires. Unnecessary idling wastes money and fuel and produces greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change.
    • Drive at a moderate speed to warm it up, rather than idling the engine.
    • Turn off your engine if the vehicle is going to be parked for more than 60 seconds (except in traffic).
    • In winter, scrape your vehicle's windows to clear ice build-up. (Source: Natural Resources Canada. Idle Free Zone website. http://www.idling.gc.ca/)
  • Aggressive driving (speeding, quick acceleration and hard stops) can increase fuel consumption by 25 per cent.
  • Reduce the use of your air conditioner in the summer to improve fuel efficiency (up to 20 per cent).
  • Reduce your vehicle's weight by removing unnecessary heavy equipment from your trunk and from your roof or bicycle racks. (Source: Natural Resources Canada. Auto$mart Thinking - Fuel-Efficient Driving Tips).
  • Consider carpooling by sharing a ride to work, an event, etc.
  • Combine errands into one trip rather than making multiple car trips.

Get out of your vehicle

  • Cycling on Brant StreetUse public transit such as Burlington Transit or GO Transit.
  • Walk or cycle - use your legs for great exercise. Check out our video promoting active transportation. Find out more about local programs or events through Active and Safe Routes to School and the Burlington Cycling Committee.
  • Telework - work from home even once a month and make a difference. Ask your workplace to establish a policy.
  • Follow David Suzuki's lead and establish a "reduction-rule" with your family. David Suzuki's family members do not use their car for any trips under seven blocks.
  • Use the Burlington Green Map to plan your trips.

Have fun

  • Sign up for events such as the Commuter Challenge or the Clean Air Commute.
  • Participate in 20/20 The Way to Clean Air, a campaign led by the public health units across the Greater Toronto Area, including the Region of Halton, to reduce home energy use and vehicle use by 20 per cent. A 20/20 planner has been developed as a guide to help you.

Did you know?

  • Car Free Day - Saving the Planet image19% of commuters who walk or cycle to work consider it to be their most pleasant daily activity, compared to only 2% of commuters who drive.
  • A 2 km walk or 5 km bike ride takes less than 30 minutes.
  • 17% of daily auto trips are walkable, 40% are cyclable.
  • Shifting our schedules to accommodate more of these short daily trips can have a huge impact on the amount of exercise we get and lessen the stress, congestion levels, greenhouse gas emissions, and financial costs associated with our driving habit. Walking and cycling are more predictable because they are largely immune to traffic congestion stresses. Replacing 1% of short auto trips reduces 2-4% of air polluting emissions.
  • Neighbourhood school travel is an ideal situation to promote the benefits of walking and cycling. In 1986, 27% of Halton and Peel Region students aged 11 - 15 were driven to school. In 2001, the percentage increased to 42% while childhood obesity increased 50%. While 45% of Canadian children live 2 km or less from the school they attend, 47% never walk. Although 91% of students have access to a bicycle, 64% never cycle to school. Contact info@saferoutestoschool.ca about programs that helps parents, students and school staff identify, address and solve the concerns and barriers that hinder active school commuting.

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