Cycling initiative nets Eastern Metropolitan Regional Council a TravelSmart award


Eastern Metropolitan Region Council chairman David Fardig and council chief executive Peter Schneider with the 2016 TravelSmart Innovate Award.
Eastern Metropolitan Region Council chairman David Fardig and council chief executive Peter Schneider with the 2016 TravelSmart Innovate Award.

THE Eastern Metropolitan Regional Council (EMRC) received the 2016 TravelSmart Innovate Award for the #ride2market program.

The #ride2market program is a series of companion events supporting farmers and hawker markets in Perth’s eastern region by providing bicycle valet services and market voucher incentives to encourage cycling for transport.

The biennial TravelSmart Awards recognise the achievements of organisations and individuals in promoting TravelSmart programs that encourage West Australians to choose active and sustainable travel modes more often.

Council chairman David Fardig said it was an honour to accept the award on behalf of the council, which has City of Swan and the shires of Kalamunda and Mundaring as members.

“The EMRC has been involved in the TravelSmart program since 2012 and is in a great position to deliver and coordinate region wide TravelSmart initiatives across several municipalities,” Cr Fardig said.

“Working with our member councils and local stakeholders we have been able to achieve success in developing innovative ways to target behaviour change and ensure that those benefits reach a wide audience across our whole region.

“Cycling initiatives often focus on attracting women and children given the low participation rates generally observed in these demographics. A key point of difference with the #ride2market program is the high participation levels by these groups and as an added benefit the program also supports our local markets which are co-ordinated by business associations and community groups.”

Of the 157 people who took part in the five #ride2market events in 2016, 44 per cent were aged under 13, 44 per cent were female and all wore “normal” clothing, helping to normalise cycling in the community.

The events were part of Bike Week 2016 and made possible through a Bike Week grant from the Department of Transport, WestCycle and in collaboration with the Kalamunda Farmers Markets, Maylands Hawker Markets, Mundaring Sunday Markets, Old Perth Road Markets and Stirling Square Markets.